||SAMPLE THE BOOK BIRTHEXILELAW WILDERNESS HARVEST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"I imagine this book as a dinner party where women have gathered for a conversation about being a woman, a person of faith, and a leader," comments Drucker. "Listening to them in ensemble reveals that all their differences are less important than how much they share as women of faith." White Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America takes its name from a description of the Torah: it is "written with black fire upon white fire." According to tradition, only the black fire, or writing, of the Torah has been read; someday the white fire will be revealed as well. Today, women spiritual leaders in America are like white fire: they embody the previously untapped power of female leadership. "Being a woman pastor was an amazing way for me to pull women together and say that we are here and we have a right to the same appointments as men," proclaims the Right Reverend Leontine Kelly. "Women have more room for failure than men; little is expected of us," states Zen Buddhist priest Joan Halifax Roshi. "The social expectation is to marry and have children, but if you don't conform to that expectation, you can have a hell of a lot of fun as an outsider. That's why women are agents of change."
"My hope is not just for women," notes musician and cantor Debbie Friedman. "It's across the board. I want men to develop the feminine in themselves and to move out of imprisonment." White Fire is breathtaking in its inclusiveness. Ministers and rabbis, writers, psychologists, and teachers-some of the women serve in denominations that have accepted women ministers for a hundred years; others are part of groups that still don't allow women full rights to spiritual leadership. What they share, besides their gender, is a passion and a calling to make a positive difference in the world, whether leading from the pulpit, classroom, or stage. "The women profiled in this book inspire people of all faiths, all backgrounds, and all genders," says Jon M. Sweeney, editor in chief of SkyLight Paths. "Collectively, they create a chorus of powerful voices that reflect the American spiritual experience." Rabbi Malka Drucker is an award-winning author of nearly twenty books, including Jacob's Rescue' The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays, and Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust, another joint project with photographer Gay Block. The "Rescuers" photo exhibition has traveled to more then seventy venues and was the basis for a Showtime television series. Block's photographs are shown widely in the United States and are held in numerous collections.