Goldstein, Niles Elliot 1966-
Goldstein, Niles Elliot 1966-
Born 1966. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A.; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, M.A.
Home—Brooklyn, NY. Agent—Karen Villanueva, Authorcare, P.O. Box 25061, Albuquerque, NM 87125-0061.
The New Shul, New York, NY, founding rabbi and spiritual leader, 1999—; Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, national Jewish chaplain; has also served on the faculty of New York University, Hebrew Union College, and the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. Member, Renaissance Institute, Liturgy Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, New York Board of Rabbis.
Forests of the Night: The Fear of God in Early Hasidic Thought, Jason Aronson (Northvale, NJ), 1996.
(With Steven S. Mason) Judaism and Spiritual Ethics, foreword by Eugene B. Borowitz, UAHC Press (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor) Spiritual Manifestos: Visions for Renewed Religious Life in America from Young Spiritual Leaders of Many Faiths, preface by Martin E. Marty, SkyLight Paths (Woodstock, VT), 1999.
(Editor and author of introduction, with Peter S. Knobel) Duties of the Soul: The Role of Commandments in Liberal Judaism, UAHC Press (New York, NY), 1999.
God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places, Bell Tower (New York, NY), 2000.
Lost Souls: Finding Hope in the Heart of Darkness, Bell Tower (New York, NY), 2002.
Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for an Ancient Faith, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Craving the Divine: A Spiritual Guide for Today's Perplexed, Paulist Press (Mahwah, NJ), 2007.
Contributor to periodicals, including Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times. Author of "Ask the Rabbi" online for the Microsoft Network.
Niles Elliot Goldstein is a rabbi who has written a number of books on how one's spiritual experience can be enriched. He focuses particularly on writing for young adults who feel disconnected from traditional religion. Among Goldstein's first published works is Spiritual Manifestos: Visions for Renewed Religious Life in America from Young Spiritual Leaders of Many Faiths, a collection of essays written by young religious leaders from various faiths. The book, edited by Goldstein and including a preface by Lutheran scholar Martin E. Marty, focuses on revitalizing traditional religion. Leroy Hommerding commented in Library Journal that Spiritual Manifestos offers "a vision that is spiritual and contemporary, passionate and intelligent." National Catholic Reporter critic William C. Graham remarked: "Those who seek to add zest to religious experience and tradition will profit from reading these collected essays."
Goldstein turned to his personal spiritual journey in God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places. Beginning with a spiritual epiphany that ends in a short stay in a New York City jail, the book follows Goldstein to locations around the world as he realizes that God is ever close at hand. Library Journal contributor Idelle Rudman found the book to be "compelling and engrossing." Goldstein's "thesis of the need to recognize God's closeness even in unfortunate times," wrote Daniel Freitag for the Jewish Times, "is meaningful and important."
In Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for an Ancient Faith, Goldstein borrows a term from journalism to describe how disaffected Jews can reconnect with their faith in a more meaningful way. Including what Dallas Morning News contributor Holly Lebowitz Rossi called a "sparkling, hope-filled road map for revitalization," the book encourages a healthy questioning of religious teachings balanced with an acceptance of long-forgotten or radical traditions. Alana Newhouse wrote in the Washington Post Book World: "This is clearly one promising rabbi: He has equal knowledge of (and appreciation for) both ancient tradition and contemporary life." Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat asserted in Spirituality and Practice that Goldstein "offers a vision of a vibrant, inspiring, edgy, and joyful Judaism."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, October 15, 1999, Leroy Hommerding, review of Spiritual Manifestos: Visions for Renewed Religious Life in America from Young Spiritual Leaders of Many Faiths, p. 74; October 1, 2000, Idelle Rudman, review of God at the Edge: Searching for the Divine in Uncomfortable and Unexpected Places, p. 109.
National Catholic Reporter, July 28, 2000, William C. Graham, review of Spiritual Manifestos, p. 15.
Washington Post Book World, October 1, 2006, Alana Newhouse, "Generation J," review of Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for an Ancient Faith, p. 5.
Dallas Morning News Online,http://www.dallasnews.com/ (December 23, 2006), Holly Lebowitz Rossi, review of Gonzo Judaism.
Jewish Times Online,http://www.jewishtimes.com/ (November 24, 2000), Daniel Freitag, review of God at the Edge.
Spirituality and Practice,http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ (June 21, 2007), Frederic Brussat and Mary Ann Brussat, review of Gonzo Judaism.