JEWELS OF ELUL XIII: What If? The Latest Edition of Jewels of Elul Coming September 2018

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What if the hand of G-d that spared Isaac had swept up my son as he fell those ten stories? These are just some of the questions asked by the 29 inspiring contributors to this year’s Jewels of Elul.

What if you could break the heart of God? What if, when Heschel said “pray with your feet,” we stayed seated? What if John Lennon is having lunch with Elvis Presley right now? What if the hand of God that spared Isaac had swept up my son as he fell those ten stories? These are just some of the questions asked by the 29 inspiring contributors to this year’s Jewels of Elul.

Conceived by musician and Pico Union Project founder Craig Taubman, Jewels of Elul invites notable writers, thinkers, politicians, spiritual leaders and artists to share their reflections, which are posted daily online and compiled as a pocket-sized anthology. Since it was first launched 14 years ago, Jewels of Elul has been widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike during the weeks leading up the Jewish New Year as a tool for learning and introspection. Over the years, Jewels of Elul has attracted some of the most influential thought leaders of the day, including President Obama, the Dali Lama, Deborah Lipstadt, Lady Gaga, Matisyahu, Eli Wiesel, Rabbi Naomi Levy, Pastor Rick Warren and hundreds of other exciting voices.

Beginning August 14th, readers can expect a new set of Jewels from a diverse range of thinkers, including renowned comedian Sarah Silverman and her sister Rabbi Susan Silverman, Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevy, Roz Rothstein CEO of Stand with Us, singer Julie Silver, Orthodox Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, Stosh Cotler founder of Bend the Arc, Jonathan Greenblatt National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abby Stein a Jewish transgender woman, candidate for Governor of California Gavin Newsom and 22 other thought-provoking writers, sharing their unique insights and continuing the tradition of uplifting wisdom for the High Holy Days.

Proceeds from this year’s Jewels of Elul will benefit the Pico Union Project. Housed in the oldest synagogue building in Los Angeles, this cutting-edge non-profit is a multi-faith cultural arts center that aims to invigorate the local community through the Jewish principle of loving your neighbor as you wish to be loved.

For more information, visit, or to schedule an interview with Craig, contact Lauree Martin at info(at)

2018 Jewels of Elul Contributors
1.     Debra Newman Kamin is the president of the international Rabbinical Assembly.
2.     Gil Troy is an author and Distinguished Scholar of American History at McGill
3.     Chava Mirel is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist based out of Seattle.
4.     Sarah Silverman Susan Silverman is a Rabbi and Activist living in Israel
5.     Rita Ross was born in Vienna and hid from the Nazis until she came to America.
6.     Rick Lupert is a beloved spoken word artist, poet, and author.
7.     Hyrum Smith is an inventor, philanthropist and leader in the Mormon Community
8.     Sid Schwarz is a Rabbi, author, and a Senior Fellow at Hazon.
9.     David Wolpe is the Senior Rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.
10.    Brian Palmer is a formerly homeless man, who currently teaches to a Skid Row Choir.
11.     Shmuly Yanklowitz is an Orthodox Rabbi and thought leader.
12.    Peter Himmelman is a singer-songwriter, author, and composer from Minnesota.
13.    Ellie Schneir is an LA County Public Defender and suicide prevention activist.
14.    Jeff Salkin is an author and senior Rabbi at Temple Solel in Florida
15.    Stosh Cotler is a social activist and founder of Bend the Arc.
16.    Mordecai Finley is a psychologist and a rabbi at Ohr HaTorah
17.    Roz Rothstein is the founder and CEO of Stand With Us
18.    Brie Loskota is the director of the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at USC
19.    Jonathan Greenblatt is the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League.
20.    Jeanne Pepper Bernstein is an attorney, activist and co-founder of #Blazeitforward,
21.    Julie Silver is a renowned Jewish singer-songwriter
22.    Yoram Hazony is a philosopher and president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.
23.    Alissa Thomas-Newborn is the first female Orthodox Rabbanit in Los Angeles.
24.    Diane Tobin is the Founding director of Be’chol Lashon
25.    Abby Stein is a Jewish transgender woman and activist living in New York City.
26.    Gavin Newsom is a candidate for Governor of California.
27.    Eric Bazilian is a Platinum selling singer-songwriter.
28.    Matt Deitsch is a Parkland student who co-founded March for our Lives.
29.    David Ingber is a mystic, educator, seeker, and founding Rabbi of Romemu in NYC.
30.    Yossi Klein Halevy is an American born Israeli author and commentator.

Contact: Lauree Martin    
Tel: 213-915-0084
Email: info(at)

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Lauree Martin
Craig Taubman
since: 03/2011
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