Rabbi Ruth Sohn
Author of
Crossing Cairo:
A Jewish Woman's Encounter with Egypt


Ruth H. Sohn is a rabbi, teacher, and writer based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Yale University and received her rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She currently teaches rabbinical students as an Adjunct Faculty member at the Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles. Rabbi Sohn has also taught Jewish Studies at the Milken Community High School in Los Angeles and in various Jewish adult education programs.

Since her return from Cairo after a six-month stay in 2006, she has given talks about her experiences at synagogues and at interfaith events, including joint events with her husband, Rabbi Reuven Firestone (author of An Introduction to Islam for Jews, Jewish Publication Society, 2008). Excerpts from her Cairo journal, entitled “The Arabic Lesson,” were published as the cover story of Reform Judaism magazine (Winter, 2006) and translated for a Jewish magazine in Holland. Another article, “Truth or Consequences,” on the art of personal confrontation, was featured in the Fall 2007 issue of Reform Judaism.

The author has a longstanding interest in the Middle East and Arab-Israeli relations, having traveled in Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt prior to living in Cairo; she spent four summers in Israel (1988, 1996, 1998, and 1999) as Rabbinic Scholar-in-Residence at Kibbutz Lotan (one of two kibbutzim in Israel founded by Reform Jews).
Crossing Cairo is her first book. In addition to Reform Judaism, her articles have appeared in The Reconstructionist, The Baltimore Jewish Times and other Jewish newspapers.

She is well known in Jewish women’s and feminist circles for her contributions to the following anthologies of Bible commentaries by women: The Torah: A Women’s Commentary,ed. by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea Weiss (URJ Press); Beginning the Journey: A Women’s Commentary on Torah, ed. by Emily Feigenson (Women of Reform Judaism); and Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story, ed. by Judith Kates and Gail Reimer (Ballantine Books). Her poems have been reprinted many times in prayer books and haggadahs, such as the Reconstructionist prayer book, Kol Haneshama.

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Recipient of Book Award
Crossing Cairo
(Selected for Author's Network- Jewish Book Council)

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Crossing Cairo