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Extended Audio Sample Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde: A True Story Audiobook, by Rebecca Dana Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 53.25 out of 5 3.25 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Dana Narrator: Rebecca Dana Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9781101605028
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The ultimate fish-out-of-water tale

A child who never quite fit in, Rebecca Dana worshipped at the altar of Truman Capote and Nora Ephron, dreaming of one day ditching Pittsburgh and moving to New York, her Jerusalem. After graduating from college, she made her way to the city to begin her destiny. For a time, life turned out exactly as she’d planned: glamorous parties; beautiful people; the perfect job, apartment, and man. But when it all came crashing down, she found herself catapulted into another world. She moves into Brooklyn’s enormous Lubavitch community and lives with Cosmo, a thirty-year-old Russian rabbi who practices jujitsu on the side.

While Cosmo, disenchanted with Orthodoxy, flirts with leaving the community, Rebecca faces the fact that her religion—the books, magazines, TV shows, and movies that made New York seem like salvation—has also failed her. As she shuttles between the world of religious extremism and the world of secular excess, Rebecca goes on a search for meaning.

Trenchantly observant, entertaining as hell, a mix of Shalom Auslander and The Odd Couple, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is a thought-provoking coming-of-age story for the twenty-first century.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fascinating and engrossing, reading Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is like looking into the windows of compelling people you want to both meet and love. By the end of the book you will do just that. (Meeting and loving the people in the book, that is. Not peering into windows like some sort of peeping tom. Probably.) Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
  • Rebecca Dana’s story is a lot like New York City—bustling and busy, packed with Jews and jobs, faith and friendship, accident and ambition. With Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde, Dana joins the ranks of women who have come to New York, forged identities on their own alongside improbable allies, and lived to tell the tale with wit and grace. Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don’t Cry
  • Rebecca Dana’s funny, juicy memoir of her Brooklyn year with a most original housemate goes down like a terrific New York cocktail—with some sweetness, a snappy twist of sublime, and plenty of heart. Julie Metz, New York Times–bestselling author of Perfection
  • This is the beautifully told story of every smart young woman’s start in the big city, where dreams first come true and then they rain like hell all over you. Rebecca Dana is wise yet self-effacing, hysterical but dark. This book is the perfect photograph of the last agonies of being young. Choire Sicha, The Awl
  • A fantastic read. Will make you want to take your life by the horns. Morgan Spurlock, Academy Award–nominated documentary filmmaker and reformed couch surfer
  • Rebecca Dana meets the jujitsu rabbi in the same place fairy tale meets reality, which is the same place all of us meet our lives: nowhere near where we expected. Let me be clear: I’ve never met the author, and I had neither the time nor the inclination to blurb this book, but I started reading her odd, engrossing, tragicomic coming-of-adulthood tale and couldn't stop. Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of The Red Book and Shutterbabe
  • I’m kvelling!! Rebecca Dana's brilliant memoir touchingly and daringly juxtaposes the mysterious world of Orthodox Jewry with the even more mysterious world of fashion. I was amused and ver clempt, all at the same time. Simon Doonan, author of Gay Men Don’t Get Fat
  • “Fascinating and engrossing, reading Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is like looking into the windows of compelling people you want to both meet and love. By the end of the book you will do just that.”

    Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

  • “Rebecca Dana’s funny, juicy memoir of her Brooklyn year with a most original housemate goes down like a terrific New York cocktail—with some sweetness, a snappy twist of sublime, and plenty of heart.”

    Julie Metz, New York Times bestselling author of Perfection

  • “Dana comes off as a from-the-suburbs Holden Caulfield, a brainy Mary Tyler Moore, or a very dressed-down Carrie Bradshaw. She’s that irresistible.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “I’m kvelling!! Rebecca Dana’s brilliant memoir touchingly and daringly juxtaposes the mysterious world of Orthodox Jewry with the even more mysterious world of fashion. I was amused and ver clempt, all at the same time.”

    Simon Doonan, author of Gay Men Don’t Get Fat

  • “Rebecca Dana’s story is a lot like New York City—bustling and busy, packed with Jews and jobs, faith and friendship, accident and ambition. With Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde, Dana joins the ranks of women who have come to New York, forged identities on their own alongside improbable allies, and lived to tell the tale with wit and grace.”

    Rebecca Traister, author of Big Girls Don’t Cry

  • “Suffused with shimmering prose and a kick-ass spirit, Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde is a brave and brilliant New York coming-of-age odyssey. With an eye for the damning detail and an ear for the heart-soaring quote, Rebecca Dana has delivered a devilishly funny true story brimming with pathos, oddball characters, and beautiful revelations. I haven’t enjoyed a memoir this much in years.”

    Don Van Natta, Jr., author of Wonder Girl

  • “Dana...turns a nine-month stint in Brooklyn into a thoughtful, archly funny meditation on what it means to want a certain kind of life, achieve it, and then feel patently uncomfortable in it, noting, ‘I have lived my entire life according to established story lines, even when they aren’t true.’ Explorations of her own Judaism are nicely placed against the backdrop of the Lubavitcher community.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Readers will find Dana’s depiction of Lubavitch life quite accessible...Finding nourishment, kosher-style, clever chick lit expands its usual boundaries.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January2013

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 2/18/2014

    " Parts of this I really like and parts were slow. Wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars. It was interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seanna | 2/12/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book - there was something so touching and so...honest about growing up and growing into a woman after Sex and the City and new heartache. This book was honest for me - maybe not all women, but it definitely was for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess Kogel | 2/5/2014

    " Thoroughly enjoyable read. Extremely funny but oddly relatable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey Lambert | 2/2/2014

    " As I'm on my treadmill, I start reading this and laughing out loud that I had to stop runnning! What a quirky read. I don't normally read non fiction but this was a great story that kept me interested in a life I know nothing about. Anyone who stands out a bit in life would enjoy this book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thea | 1/21/2014

    " The first chapter is hilarious. From there, it becomes kind of "meh," as Dana meets famous people and tries to finds religion. A good story, and I was impressed that an author can be so vapid and shallow and still somehow so self-aware and observant at the same time. However, I was promised a jujitsu rabbi, and I didn't get nearly enough of him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl Meher | 1/19/2014

    " moderately interesting, thats all "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/8/2014

    " More a magazine article than a memoir but she's a snarky and fun writer. Easy to skip large parts but a fun, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Foley | 1/6/2014

    " A very interesting memoir. I thought it was gong to be more about the Jujitsu Rabbi, but it was told from the perspective of the Godless Blonde, who is sometimes a brunette or red head. Anyway, I liked it the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 1/3/2014

    " Suggested by my dad. Not sure what the author's point was except to show a on parison between two worlds that she was caught between and seemed ambivalent about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/27/2013

    " Funny book,quick read another late twenty year old trying to find herself after a break up. Cosmo though was an interesting character "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregory | 12/2/2013

    " I had hoped this book would be an in depth look at the lives of ultra Orthodox Jews living in Crown Heights. It did have some of that but this book is mostly about the author trying to find her place in the world. I enjoyed reading it, but the main theme is not what I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 11/16/2013

    " Very funny and faced paced adventure about a woman struggling to find true happiness "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanne Marie | 11/11/2013

    " This provided a very cursory view of the Lubavitch community in New York City. There are other better titles that delve more deeply into this community. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin | 10/13/2013

    " Not interesting to me- only made it 1/3 of the way thru. The angst of the main character was so immature that I found it hard to care about her. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rebecca | 9/13/2013

    " While some of the episodes are funny, as a whole I found the book disjointed and choppy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen Goodlett | 8/18/2013

    " Check out my review on the Post-Gazette website. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 BlueDoorBooks Cedarhurst | 8/11/2013

    " Funny & Hilarious! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tammi | 6/13/2013

    " Surprised that after the first few pages I actually kept reading. Rebecca did intrigue me enough to keep going and finish the book and I'm glad I did. Her descriptions and sentence structures are loaded with power capturing ones self awareness to nature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 6/10/2013

    " A clever and entertaining memoir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 4/17/2013

    " this memoir combined two of my favorite things: stories about moving to NYC and stories about Orthodox Jews. funny, insightful, and light. a quick, fun read. "

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About the Author

Rebecca Dana is a writer and journalist in New York. She is a former senior correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, where she wrote the weekly “Social Diaries” magazine column and reported on fashion, culture, and entertainment. She has been a featured commentator on such shows as the Today show, The Joy Behar ShowInside EditionAccess Hollywood, and NPR’s “On the Media” and “Fair Game with Faith Salie.” She has made numerous appearances on MSNBC and CNN. Before joining The Daily Beast, Dana was a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and  New York Observer. She has also been published in Rolling Stone MagazineVanity Fair ItaliaSlateMen’s Vogue, Washington Post New Orleans Times-PicayuneMen’s Journal, and  New York Times. She attended Yale, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. She lives in Manhattan with her husband.