From the cover of "Weddings by the Glass" by Rabbi Marc Rubenstein
From the cover of "Weddings by the Glass" by Rabbi Marc Rubenstein

A rabbi of 3,000 weddings; mindful eating; parenting adult children

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Author! Author! is a monthly-ish roundup of new books by Bay Area Jews.

Marc Rubenstein estimates that in his 40-plus years as a rabbi — including five at Temple Israel in Alameda, from 1981 to 1986 — he has officiated at more than 3,000 weddings, many of them interfaith ceremonies.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 11.53.08 AMHe believes that just like same-faith couples, interfaith partners are entitled to have a customized wedding ceremony “that represents their love for each other, their spirituality and their promises for a bright future together.”

That is why the former Bay Area resident has written a book about an interfaith couple planning their wedding. In an unexpected twist, however, “Weddings by the Glass” is a novel, not a “how-to” guide.

Hillie Gordon had a Catholic upbringing and Jacob Jaworski came from an observant Orthodox family. The couple’s struggle to juggle family expectations, fulfill their own desires and find a rabbi who can bring many diverse elements together are recounted in the novel by Rubenstein, who has more information at interfaithrabbicalifornia.com.

“Weddings by the Glass” by Marc Rubenstein (201 pages, Morgan James Publishing)


Nan Fink Gefen of Berkeley and Sandra Butler of Emeryville have co-authored “It Never Ends,” in which they speak with women about the highs and lows of mothering middle-age daughters. In researching their book, the authors met with and interviewed 78 Bay Area women, who tell their stories about the issues that surface and resurface with their daughters, and how the relationships change over time (and how they do not). The authors include discussion questions.

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 11.54.06 AMGefen, a co-founding publisher of Tikkun magazine and the author of “Stranger in the Midst: A Memoir of Spiritual Discovery,” “Discovering Jewish Meditation” and the novel “Clear Lake,” is a member of independent congregation Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley. She and her husband have a blended family of seven children and 10 grandchildren.

Butler is the author of “Conspiracy of Silence: The Trauma of Incest” and is the co-author of “Cancer in Two Voices.” She has two midlife daughters.

The authors will do book events Nov. 8 in Oakland and Nov. 12 in Emeryville. See motheringdaughters.net for details.

“It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters” by Sandra Butler and Nan Fink Gefen (300 pages, She Writes Press)


Registered dietitian and mindfulness coach Andrea Lieberstein has written “Well Nourished.” The San Francisco-based teacher, trainer and coach offers tools to help people keep on a healthy path of mindful eating and well-nourished living.

“Well Nourished: Mindful Practices to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Feed Your Whole Self, and End Overeating” by Andrea Lieberstein (208 pages, Fair Winds Press)