Book Reviews

“I am a HUGE fan of Rabbi Matt Gewirtz and have had my life enriched by his wisdom and friendship. I am not Jewish and yet I can say the Rabbi’s transcendent spiritual clarity, practical moral mentoring, and unwavering work for healing and justice has inspired me and so many. To Build a Brave Space is an invaluable look into his life and the growth of a young man into a spiritual leader. For anyone interested in living a good life-in being a light worker-there is much to gain from this book.”

Senator Cory Booker

“Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz is an important thinker and spiritual voice in this time of growing division in our country. As Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, I have worked hard to find common ground in Congress, and Rabbi Gewirtz’s focus on the spiritual grounding for our work to find the best in each other and seek ways to work together is a valuable message for our fractured nation.”

Congressman Josh Gottheimer

“A memoir, a lesson and a deeply personal meditation on being a spiritual leader in a time of polarization and successive crises. Matt Gewirtz reaches beyond his pulpit to touch his reader’s souls.”

Rabbi David Wolpe, Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles

“Matthew Gewirtz’s To Build a Brave Space is an insightful, honest and ultimately hopeful memoir of the journey of a rabbi through unprecedented times. His vulnerability and humor in storytelling only deepens his humanity. Prepare to be inspired by this authentic portrait of the joys and trials of a life of service and spiritual leadership.”

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, NYC

“In the heavily polarized society in which we live in today, my friend Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz reminds us in his new book, to Build a Brave Space, that listening and learning from those who have different viewpoints than our own is essential to building a better world. Drawing from the many years of his rabbinical career, as well as his Jewish upbringing, Rabbi Gewirtz challenges us all to have courage – not by entrenching ourselves in our own ways of thinking, but by stepping outside the lines and turning potential enemies into friends. I highly recommend this book as a blessed antidote to the toxicity we find too prevalent around us.”

Bishop Robert Stearns, Founder and Executive Director, Eagles’ Wings

“Rabbi Gewirtz leads us into the very heart of darkness and finds there, in both ancient spiritual tradition and the true stories of ordinary sould, the seeds of transformation and new life.”

Lawrence Kushner, author of Kabbalah: A Love Story

“Read this book if you have lost a love, an illusion, a job, your health. It will not restore you to who you were before your loss, but it will counsel you wisely through the darkness, helping bring you into an awareness of your own truth and strength far deeper thatn you imagine is possible. Matthew Gewirtz proves himself to be a true spiritual guide.”

Rachel Cowan, director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality

“Matthew Gewirtz’s description of ‘the gift of grief’ is simple, elegant, and profound. No matter what your personal faith or tradition, you will be moved by his unique perspective. He speaks to the human condition of grief and suffering with a strong yet gently voice grounded in deep compassion. I recommend this book for people in every phase of grief.”

Megory Anderson, author of Sacred Dying

The Gift of Grief offers a surprising and compelling path to healing. Rabbi Gewirtz skillfully combines traditional teachings with a modern, compassionate, and insightful perspective.”

Jonathan LaPook, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center