Rabbi Anne Brener, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, spiritual director, and frequent "scholar-in-residence" across the United States and internationally. Her work focuses particularly on the issues of grief, mourning, spirituality and healing, She works with congregations to help create caring communities, lectures on the therapeutic impact of Jewish ritual and practice, and leads workshops that explore the connection between spirituality and psychology. In her private psychotherapy and spiritual direction practice, she works with both individuals and groups. A founder of one of California's first shelters for victims of Domestic Violence, she has worked as a Hospice Chaplain and co-founded a training program for Jewish Spiritual Directors. Currently, she is Professor of Ritual and Spiritual Development at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. Anne's work is enriched by her own experiences with loss and personal growth, her belief in the healing power of ritual, and her professional skills in psychotherapy, communications, and community organization. Ordained a rabbi in 2008 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles, she holds graduate degrees in the fields of Communications, Social Work, Jewish Communal Service, and Hebrew Letters. Anne grew up in New Orleans and currently lives in Los Angeles.
"A stunning book! It offers an exploration in depth of the place where psychology and religious ritual intersect, and the name of that place is Truth."-Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People"Enthusiastically recommended as a valuable discussion of a universal experience."-Publishers Weekly"In this new edition of her classic Mourning and Mitzvah Rabbi Anne Brener moves through the Jewish traditions of mourning and then expands them in a widening circle, to teach us how to be with all of our losses. I can't imagine a companion more wise, more learned and more gifted with compassion and understanding than the voice of Anne Brener coming through this book, a voice that walks with us through the garden of life and leads us into the circle of mourners we all must join."-Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night's Dream"Sensitive and deeply learned, Rabbi Anne Brener creatively integrates wisdom and metaphors derived from the Bible, the Jewish mystical tradition, psychotherapy, and her own life to provide guidance and support to those who struggle with the pain and sadness engendered by the death of a loved one. In this 25th anniversary edition of Mourning and Mitzvah, the beauty and kindness as well as the knowledge and learning of Rabbi Brener shines forth and offers comfort and patience to those who are bereaved as they engage in the lengthy processes of mourning. Mourning and Mitzvah remains an ever-more remarkable spiritual treasure.-Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University"This book is marvelous. It is a work that I wish I had written. It is the best book on this subject that I have ever seen."-Rabbi Levi Meier, Ph.D. z"l, former Chaplain, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; author, Ancient Secrets: Using the Stories of the Bible to Improve Our Everyday Lives"The best guide I know for the inner work of mourning." -Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi z"l"Creates the potential for bringing Judaism to those in need, and if we are truly fortunate, it may bring those in need to Judaism."-Arnold R. Saltzman, former CEO, Mount Sinai Memorial Park and Mortuary, Los Angeles"As a rabbi who must deal on a daily basis with aspects of mourning, there are few books that I can turn to for guidance, let alone suggest to be read by those I am comforting.... I am unaware of a book that is as helpful or as complete.... Bridges the gap between Judaism and psychology.... Underscores the wisdom of the Jewish tradition and its understanding of the process of healing."-Rabbi Arthur Gross Schaefer "A splendid resource for readers of any philosophical persuasion." -The Millennium Whole Earth CatalogTestimonials"I gobbled this up and feel breathless! My experience has been named and connected to the texts of our tradition!"-Debra Linesch, PhD, Chair, Graduate Department of Marital and Family Therapy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles"It is a magnificent work and a masterful contribution to all spiritual understanding, not just to mourning and loss but to living. And personally it has been a beautiful exposure to Judaism-a secondary gain or unintended gain perhaps, but not one to be taken lightly."-Tracey Ellis"[We] found your addendum profound and beautiful (whether Jewish or not). It takes the reader on a journey of sacred holiness with grace. You looked deeply at the template of grief in a radically new way to rediscover one's lost humanity at a time of mourning. And as for me, with tears of gratitude I pray I will circle to the left and now enjoy the awe of those Yehudah moments. You bring holiness and love into my world. With tears of gratitude."-Evelyn Mandel