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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (194 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:
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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.

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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.”

    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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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! "

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