Reviews in Brief

Confronting Scandal: When Jews Do Bad Things

Confronting Scandal: image When Jews Do Bad Things
By Dr. Erica Brown
Jewish Lights
Vermont, 2010
192 pages

Anyone reading the news regularly sees images and stories of Orthodox Jews, occasionally even rabbis, misbehaving. How is a member of the Jewish public to react? In this head-on attack of an explosive topic, Dr. Erica Brown, a writer and educator who serves as the scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, sensitively asks tough questions and gives thoughtful answers. This is not a book of apologetics. It is the exact opposite, because it details many unsavory aspects of Jewish life today. It is a book about sober perspectives, living in the real world instead of the ideal, and working to change the flaws in our community that allow these misdeeds to occur. One leaves this book thankful for encountering a voice of sanity, less disillusioned than disappointed, and ready to demand change. Dr. Brown is a legend of adult education, a groundbreaker in attracting and sustaining the interest of busy laypeople in Torah study. With this book, she will have no problem finding interested readers.

Rabbi Gil Student writes frequently on Jewish issues and blogs at

This article was featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Jewish Action.
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