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The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2017

VOICES

Abigail Pogrebin

Author

Judaism has, to say the least, a lot of holidays, only some of which are observed by most Jews. Writer Abby Pogrebin took on the task of changing this with her 2017 book “My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew,” her chronicle of observing every Jewish holiday in the calendar.

“I was frustrated by my own ignorance, by the fact that I had never experienced what I saw more observant Jews experience in their average year, and it looked meaningful from my vantage point,” she says.

Calling herself “a little bit of a rabbi groupie,” she tried to engage in rituals from across traditions and denominations.

In the end, Pogrebin, who is the president of Central Synagogue in New York City, wants others to take the opportunity to experience the complete Jewish year. “What I hope,” she says, “that anyone finds in this book is some answer to why there seems to be a Jewish holiday every five seconds, and also what is this heritage that has endured, what is the power of it, and what is the relevance today?’

Pogrebin, a former television producer, is also the author ofStars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish” and “One and the Same: My Life As an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to Be Singular” and the Amazon Kindle single “Showstopper.” (Photo credit: Twitter.)

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