Matlins, Stuart M. 1940-

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MATLINS, Stuart M. 1940-

PERSONAL: Born July 25, 1940, in New York, NY; son of Louis Karl and Lillian (Keit) Matlins; married Andrea Cines, June 20, 1960 (divorced); married Antoinette Leonard, October 9, 1977; children: (first marriage) Seth, Andrew. Education: Attended London School of Economics, 1958-59; University of Wisconsin, B.S., 1960; Princeton University, M.A., 1962, postgraduate studies, 1962-63. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—Woodstock, VT. Offıce—Long-Hill Partners Inc., P.O. Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05901-0237.

CAREER: Economist and writer. Bureau of International Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce, economist, 1963-66; Booz Allen & Hamilton, New York, NY, consultant, 1966-67, administrative director, 1967-70, vice president of international operations, 1970-71, vice president and managing officer, 1971-74; Stuart Matlins Associates, president and consultant, 1974—. Publisher, Gemstone Press, Jewish Lights Publishing, and SkyLight Paths Publications; board of directors, LongHill Partners (chairman), Health Education Foundation of the Woodstock Area Jewish Community, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (chairman emeritus).

MEMBER: Princeton Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellow, 1960-61; Herbert O. Peet fellow, 1961-62; Phillip A. Rollins fellow, 1962-63.


(With William W. Walker III and Barbara J. Waite) Services for Children of Alcoholics, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC), 1979.

(Editor, with Arthur J. Magida) How to Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, two volumes, Jewish Lights Publishing (Woodstock, VT), 1996, 3rd edition, SkyLight Path Publications (Woodstock, VT), 2002.

(Editor) The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, Skylight Paths Publications (Woodstock, VT), 2000.

(Editor) The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, SkyLight Paths Publications (Woodstock, VT), 2000.

(Editor) The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Exploring, and Living a Spiritual Life, Jewish Lights Publishing (Woodstock, VT), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Jewish management consultant Stuart M. Matlins saw America's increasing religious diversity reflected in his own family. As a public speaker on the subject of interfaith relationships, Matlins tells audiences that, while his own Jewish parents had no Christian relatives when they were married, he and his wife have relatives from a wide variety of Christian denominations, each with its own methods of observance. As the founder of the ecumenical publishing house SkyLight Paths, in addition to Jewish Lights Publishing, Matlins has created a series of books designed to help readers feel more comfortable with the religious practices of coworkers, friends, and relations.

With Arthur I. Magida, Matlins published the guidebook How to Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies. The volumes cover religious groups as varied as Baptists, Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, Quakers, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses, in addition to several Native American traditions. Matlins also includes smaller Christian churches such as African American Methodist Churches, Foursquare Gospel Churches, the Pentecostal Church of God, and the Church of the Nazarene. Matlins and Magida describe the public and private rituals of each faith, answering questions about appropriate attire, gifts, greetings, and forms of address. More detailed topics are addressed in the follow-up guides The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices and The Perfect Stranger's Guide to Wedding Ceremonies. David Crumm, writing for Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, called the books "important tools to help people avoid many pitfalls as they wander across the spiritual landscape."

Matlins has also published a guide to his own religion, directed at both the curious and the faithful, in an effort to respond to a revival of Jewish spirituality. Matlins drew together fifty leading authors of Jewish thought, including Miriam Carey Berkowitz, Ellen Bernstein, Sylvia Boorstein, and Lawrence Kushner, to discuss Jewish spiritual practices, mysticism, and ethical living. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly found the anthology "rich but uneven," but one that fans of the recent revival would "treasure."



Booklist, October 15, 1999, Barbara Bibel and J. Christopher McConnell, review of How to Be a Perfect Stranger, p. 472.

Choice, April, 2000, M. Meola, review of How to Be a Perfect Stranger, p. 1485.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, December 22, 1999, David Crumm, review of How to Be a Perfect Stranger, p. K2646.

Publishers Weekly, March 10, 1997, review of How to Be a Perfect Stranger, p. 63; July 12, 1999, p. 91; July 23, 2001, review of The Jewish Lights Spirituality Handbook, p. 72.


Jewish Lights Publishing Web site, (October 7, 2001).*