Join us at The Writer’s Center to celebrate the release of Sarah Birnbach’s new memoir, A Daughter’s Kaddish: My Year of Grief, Devotion, and Healing. Sarah is in conversation with David Goodrich. Book signing and reception to follow.
Free and open to the public, limited space, registration required. Please view and agree to [link id=’2132036′ text=’COVID Policies’] before attending our live events.
Sarah Birnbach began her encore career as a nonfiction writer after successful careers as a human resources management consultant and family therapist in a juvenile court. She was a sought-after motivational speaker at numerous industry conferences and has delivered more than five hundred presentations and workshops. Sarah’s lifelong journaling practice has informed her writing, for which she has won multiple awards. Her articles have appeared in Talking Writing, Bookwoman, JOFA Journal (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance), the Michigan Jewish History Journal, Intima, and Pen in Hand. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, an MBA from American University, and an MSW from the University of Maryland. Sarah lives with her husband in Rockville, where she enjoys frequenting local bookstores, traveling, and active grandparenting.
After a career as a climate scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United Nations, David Goodrich rode his bicycle from Maryland to Oregon, looking at climate change and talking with people along the way. His book about the ride, A Hole in the Wind, came out in 2017. He explored the sources of climate change in A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean, riding from the tar sands of Alberta to the Bakken oil field of North Dakota. His next book, about bicycle journeys on the Underground Railroad, is entitled On Freedom Road and is coming in February from Pegasus Books.
About the Book
In A Daughter’s Kaddish: My Year of Grief, Devotion, and Healing, Sarah Birnbach recounts her year-long odyssey to persevere through an unfamiliar world of Jewish prayer. To honor her beloved father, Sarah commits to saying the Mourner’s Kaddish twice a day in synagogue for eleven months, despite her religion’s tradition that the responsibility falls to males. A novice worshipper and single working mother, Sarah’s obstacles were many—including vehement objections to her recitation of the Mourner’s Kaddish because of her gender, her own daughter’s near-fatal car accident, an incident that tore her synagogue apart, and her own mother’s dismissiveness.
Sarah’s attempts to find a synagogue where she can pray as she travels the country for work, while struggling with the heavy emotional distress of grief, brings many surprises and upsets. Ultimately, Sarah discovers how the path of faith, and the power of ritual and community, can lead to true healing.