Sheila Peltz Weinberg

Surprisingly Happy:
An Atypical Religious Memoir

ISBN: 978-1-935052-18-0
158 pages

January, 2010

Rabbi Reveals Surprising Details of a Faith-filled Life

“Are you happy because you are getting older or because you’ve found spiritual peace?

Amherst, Mass. resident and co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Rabbi Sheila Weinberg offers intriguing answers to that question in her new memoir.

Snapshots of Rabbi Weinberg’s life, as told through poetry, prayers, and accounts of this Jewish Baby Boomer’s experiences, offer clues about her search to find God, and carves a path for others to learn from her journey. It addresses her spiritual quests through yoga and meditation and provides a candid look at her struggles with addiction, her philosophy of feminism, and her life as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

The book incorporates the author’s eye-witness accounts of many iconic events of the past 40 years: the 1968 student riots at Columbia University; the challenges of the Peace Corps in Chile in 1968; the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Rabbi Weinberg also relates equally engaging anecdotes of less dramatic, yet impactful, rituals of everyday life: Senior prom, family, holidays, and a complex relationship with her mother.

About the author:
A life-long advocate for peace and justice, Rabbi Weinberg is active in Rabbis for Human Rights, an international organization that gives voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights. She is a co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality,, in New York City, and leads workshops and retreats in various locations throughout the year.