Advanced Praise for The God Upgrade
"Catholics often hear, 'The Church is not a cafeteria. You can't
pick and choose what you want to believe.'
What Rabbi Korngold offers is Judaism's rich banquet of theologies.
No matter what your religion, the rabbi's invitation is the same:
Pull up a chair and dig in!"
Mary Doria Russell
Author of New York Times Bestsellers
The Sparrow and
A Thread of Grace
"Korngold, a Reform rabbi who as "Adventure Rabbi" leads outdoor
hikes and retreats designed to recreate the spiritual connection
between nature and Judaism, takes her 2008 book God in the Wilderness
a step further.
She presents brief updates of the concept of God as advanced by
Maimonides, Spinoza, Buber, Heschel, and Kushner before offering
her own understanding of God.
She asserts that "upgrades" are in keeping with Jewish tradition
and rejects the conception of a God that keeps score of human
deeds and hands out punishments or rewards accordingly.
Instead, she argues for modernizing the contemporary notion of God
so that it becomes compatible with both science and Judaism.
This involves maintaining ancient rituals as "gems" that tie
today's Jews to ancestors and to each other.
Traditions and heritage linked to contemporary understanding
will produce a fresh view of God that can "inspire you, bring
you comfort, and fill your life with peace."
While Korngold primarily addresses Jews, her powerful message
can resonate with people of all faiths as they struggle
to reconcile science and religion.
Starred Review, April 2011
"In tackling the toughest questions about God,
Rabbi Jamie Korngold has written both a
powerful critique of classical theology
and a gutsy call for a rethinking of Judaism.
She epitomizes the restless Jewish religious spirit,
never satisfied with pat answers but never willing to
give up on God and His people, always struggling
and always fresh.
A rare voice of hope, clarity, and brutal honesty in an
age of religious disillusionment, Korngold has produced
one of the most stunning expressions of love, awe, and
spiritual longing in Jewish writing today."
Author of The Ten Commandments:
How Our Most Ancient Moral Text
Can Renew Modern Life, National Jewish Book Award finalist
"So I'm not Jewish, okay? But I loved this book.
Rabbi Korngold presents her faith — and faith itself — in an
accessible, friendly, warmhearted, provocative and, above all,
inviting way and answers the most common questions about Judaism
(asked by both Jews and non-Jews)….
Rabbi Korngold shows how a tradition that began 5,000 years
ago can draw us closer to the God who lives today."
Rev. James Martin, S.J.
Author of the New York Times Bestseller,
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.
"If there were more rabbis and ministers like Jamie Korngold, religious
affiliation in America would not be dropping as rapidly as it is."
The Aspen Institute
"Rabbi Korngold has provided all of us with a
thoroughly accessible resource for introducing a younger
generation to the riches of Jewish theology…"
Rabbi Neil Gillman
Emeritus Professor of Jewish Philosophy,
The Jewish Theological Seminary
"What do we uncomfortable souls of today,
who have sometimes felt ourselves to be on the periphery
of Jewish life, have in common with the great Jewish
wrestlers who came before us?
They were, as we are, looking for a way in, as individuals
and as members of a community. This is precisely what
Jamie Korngold understands best, in the most unabashed way."
Author of The Book of Customs:
A Complete Handbook for the Jewish Year,
National Jewish Book Award winner.
"Judaism thrives when we reclaim its wisdom and reinterpret its texts
in ways that are both useful to our ongoing spiritual growth and relevant to
the challenges of our day.
That's what it means to be part of a "Living Tradition."
With humor, straightforward honesty and passionate inquiry,
Rabbi Korngold has given Life to the core of Tradition by wrestling with the
concept of God, and inviting us along on her journey of learning and exploration.
And what a delightful journey it is!"
Rabbi Shefa Gold
Author of Torah Journeys:
The Inner Path to the Promised Land
and In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs
"The Adventure Rabbi invites you into her world, her soul, and her struggles
with "traditional" concepts of God.
Funny, honest and passionate, this book is a provocative,
intriguing, and always interesting exploration of
Jewish theology that will grab you from the first page.
God-wrestlers, this book is for you!"
Dr. Ron Wolfson
Co-President, Synagogue 3000
Author of God’s To-Do List:
103 Ways to Be and Angel and Do God’s Work on Earth
"The God Upgrade is a funny, easy-to-read, page turner.
Judaism has a better chance of being relevant
to our daily lives with such wise teachings."
Rabbi Korngold grapples with religion with such honesty, wisdom, and humor.
We must confront our questions about God as we strive to build sustainable
Jewish community and maintain our Jewish identity."
Founder, Harold Grinspoon Foundation
"This book will serve as safe entry point
into serious conversations about Jewish theology
and spirituality for a new generation.
Her highly personal style addresses complicated themes
but allows the reader to feel like an active
participant in this 5000 year old Jewish conversation."
Rabbi Daniel Freelander
Union for Reform Judaism
"This book is a gift to those struggling
with a way to live a post-modern Jewish life.
Rabbi Jamie's love for Judaism is an inspiration too
for Jews like me with a more traditional Jewish theology
(yes, Rabbi Jamie, I really do believe that God speaks to
each of us directly and is intimately involved in our lives).
Finally this book is a gift to anyone of any faith or no faith
searching for meaning. Rabbi Jamie shows how you don't
have to leave your critical faculties at the door of your
place of worship in order to find your way into an authentic
Yossi Klein Halevi
Fellow, The Shalom Hartman Institute
Author, At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden:
A Jew’s Search for God with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land
"Breaking the myth of God as a Man in the sky,
meting out curses and manipulating human history,
Korngold offers a way into Judaism that doesn't
require adherence to a stale and rigid theology.
Meet Korngold's God and experience her powerful
and compelling articulation of Judaism."
Rabbi Sharon Brous
Listed among the Forward's 50 most influential rabbis
three years in a row
"Through her work and wisdom, Jamie Korngold—
a/k/a the Adventure Rabbi— offers terrific examples of
how creative and innovative Jewish educators can link
millennia-old traditions with the natural world to inspire young Jews
to chart their own course through our rich heritage."
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
- My Prediction for CNN.com for 2012: 24×6 – Take a Day Off
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- Review of The God Upgrade from the Shabbat Lady (Texas Jewish Post)
- Photos from Adventure Rabbi May 2011 Hike
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- God Upgrade #1 Bestseller at Boulder Bookstore (photo)
- Voice of Israel Interview February 3, 2015'Adventure Rabbi' Jamie Korngold explains how integrating spirituality and the outdoors into Jewish teachings is the answer to making Judaism relevant and more meaningful. Listen to how she breaks down barriers to reach and teach teenagers about Judaism.Caption: 'Adventure Rabbi' Jamie Korngold with program participants.Listen to the Full […]Adventure Rabbi Blog
- Try to be Happy most of the time January 28, 2015"Try to be Happy most of the time." This was one of the rules the founder of my High School, Judy Cook, established for her students. It was meant to be enacted alongside the next rule on her list, "Take responsibility for your actions and be prepared to deal with the consequences."Judy did not believe in an all-powerful, omnipotent God […]Adventure Rabbi Blog
- Shabbat Teaching: The Importance of Being Flexible January 11, 2015Rabbi Jamie Korngold, The Adventure RabbiWatch Rabbi Jamie Korngold, the Adventure Rabbi, teach the importance of being flexible, during a Shabbat Service on Skis at Copper Mountain, Colorado- Jan 10, 2015. […]Adventure Rabbi Blog
- Adventure Rabbi Video Teaching: King Soopers Chronicles: Part II December 17, 2014Watch Rabbi Jamie Korngold discuss Part II of the King Soopers Chronicles, where she teaches during the falling snow. After the reorganization of a local shopping store, everything was confusing. Much like having dementia. Watch how Rabbi Korngold's experience was turned from a difficult, confusing store visit into something that made her feel a welcome […]Adventure Rabbi Blog
- Adventure Rabbi Video Teaching: King Soopers Chronicles: Part I December 17, 2014Watch Rabbi Jamie Korngold discuss Part I of the King Soopers Chronicles. Shabbat is a predictable moment in time, every week. It's a palace in time, rather than a place. In this video, Rabbi Korngold discusses the effect that disorganization has on people in the most unlikely of places - the King Soopers shopping center.View Part II of the King Soopers […]Adventure Rabbi Blog