HERE ALL ALONG
A renowned political speechwriter rediscovers Judaism, finding timely insights and profound spiritual connection in its ancient practices and ethical traditions.
After a decade as a political speechwriter for leaders like Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama and as head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama, Sarah Hurwitz decided to apply her skills as a communicator to writing a book…about Judaism. And no one is more surprised than she is.
Hurwitz was the quintessential lapsed Jew – until, at age thirty-six, after a tough break-up, she happened upon an advertisement for a beginner’s class on Judaism. She attended on a whim, but was blown-away by what she found: beautiful rituals, helpful guidance on living an ethical life, conceptions of God beyond the judgy bearded man in the sky – none of which she had learned in Hebrew school or during the two synagogue services she grudgingly attended each year. That class led to a challenging, moving – and ultimately life-transforming – journey. Hurwitz visited the offices of rabbis, attended Jewish meditation retreats, sat at the Shabbat tables of Orthodox families, and read hundreds of books about Judaism—all in dogged pursuit of answers to her biggest life questions. And she wondered: How could there be such a gap between the richness of what Judaism offers and the way so many Jews like her understand and experience it?
Hurwitz is on a mission to close this gap by sharing the profound insights she discovered in studying Jewish law, history, spirituality, and ethics. She has gained access to vast troves of wisdom on everything from holidays, rituals, and prayer to Jewish conceptions of God, death, and social justice. In this entertaining and accessible book, she shows us why Judaism matters and how its message is more relevant than ever, and she inspires Jews to do the learning, questioning, and debating required to make this religion their own.
Follow the book on Twitter at @HereAllAlong and read an excerpt here.
Advance Praise for Here All Along
“Sarah Hurwitz was Michelle Obama’s head speechwriter, and with this book she becomes Judaism’s speechwriter. In a time when many people have lost faith, her timeless wisdom and graceful writing will delight even the most steadfast skeptics of organized religion.”
“Searching for meaning in the ancient scripture and traditions of Judaism, Sarah Hurwitz takes us along on an enriching journey of discovery. In Here All Along, she explores her birthright as a Jew and finds timeless and valuable life lessons.”
"Sarah Hurwitz writes beautifully about her journey from Hebrew School dropout to thoughtful commentator on her heritage. She shows how this system of thought founded in the time of shepherds can be surprisingly relevant to modern life, with wisdom on such contemporary topics as mindfulness, gratitude, work/life balance and politics. I recommend this book to all, no matter where you lie on the religious spectrum."
“Here All Along is exactly the introduction to Judaism that smart, thoughtful readers need: Not a How-to guide to these incredibly rich and relevant traditions, but a Why-to guide that illuminates—boldly, bravely, and beautifully—why Judaism matters and how its wisdom can transform us. It's been here all along, but now it's here in the book in your hands, waiting for you. Open it, and discover what you've been missing.”
“Repeatedly drawing on her life experiences, Sarah Hurwitz paints a vision of a Judaism that is wise, intellectually rigorous, experiential, accessible—and, quite frankly, exciting. Even when I disagree with her, she invites me into her world. This is a book we have been waiting for, and Hurwitz is an important new voice on the Jewish scene.”
“What an achievement—to have found a way to make every aspect of Judaism utterly accessible, digestible, and emotional all at once, in one riveting volume. This is an uncanny primer for anyone wanting to understand Judaism, and also a revealing portrait of one famous speechwriter who couldn’t believe what she’d been missing all along.”
“A lovely, lucid account of a search for Judaism’s spiritual treasures and how they are discovered by a woman of a skeptical mind and an open heart.”