What People Are Saying About My Book, “Who Stole My Religion?”

The many endorsements below are included to show that it is 
not just the author, but many other people also - 
including Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and 
Reconstructionist Jews, as well as Christians, and Muslims - 
who think their religion has been "stolen" by right-wing 
politics, but who still believe that compassionate religious 
values have relevance to current crises. Provision of a blurb 
here does not imply that the person who provided it agrees with 
everything in my book. However, it is hoped that the voices of 
the people who submitted the statements below, as well as many 
more voices, will be raised, each in their own way, to help 
revitalize Judaism and other religions and to apply religious 
values effectively in response to the many threats to humanity 

"For many years now, Richard Schwartz has been a clear, 
unwavering voice for a more compassionate, more humane and 
holier Judaism. Who Stole My Religion? offers Jews and non- 
Jews alike a critique of many of the unhappy trends in the 
Jewish world today and an authentic and inspirational view of 
what traditional Judaism is and should be." — Professor Alon 
Tal, Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Chairman of "The 
Green Movement" (Israel's Green Party); author of Pollution in 
the Promised Land and many other books and articles on 
environmental issues in Israel. 

"No one has been more creative, committed, and consistent than 
Richard Schwartz in arguing for a Judaism that can address in all its depth the world crisis that all humanity and all the life- 
forms of our planet face today." — Rabbi Arthur Waskow, 
director, The Shalom Center; author, Down-to-Earth Judaism, 
Seasons of Our Joy, and many other works on Jewish thought 
and action

"The challenging title of this welcome new book by Prof. 
Richard Schwartz, one of the most insightful commentators on 
Jewish scriptural interpretation, says a great deal about his 
struggle to reclaim Judaism in the 21st century from those who 
would narrow its scope to ethnocentrism and self-interest. 
Schwartz is a major protagonist in the battle to present the 
humanitarian insights and universal truths that have been part of 
the Jewish tradition, from its earliest holy texts to the present 
day." — Rabbi Gerald Serotta, Founder, Rabbis for Human 
Rights, North America and Executive Director, Clergy Beyond 


"I commend Dr. Schwartz for his courage and integrity 
in reminding the Jewish community of its historic mission to 
serve as a light unto the nations. While it is always safer to tell 
people what they want to hear, I am thrilled that at least one 
person has the guts to challenge our people to live up to the 
highest ideals of the prophets by acting as responsible stewards 
of our planet, fighting to protect those who need our help, and 
practicing kindness to animals. His book Who Stole My 
Religion? will serve as a lightning rod to stimulate critically 
needed discussion about what it means to be Jewish and 
how we can live an ethically Jewish life." — Rabbi Barry 
Silver, Rabbi of Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor in Lake Worth, 
Florida, Former Florida State Representative, Founder and co- 
Chairman of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition. 

"Once again Richard Schwartz has produced a thought 
provoking book. Who Stole My Religion? will be a very 
positive addition to our libraries. His writing is powerful and 
thought provoking. As always, Richard is not afraid 
to challenge us." — Rabbi Michael M. Cohen, Director of 
Development, Friends of the Arava Institute for Environmental 


"In this time of ubiquitous polarization and demonization of 
"the other," Who Stole My Religion? makes a cogent, 
compelling call for Jews to turn from unquestioning acceptance 
of particular cultural and political positions back to core 
religious values of wisdom, compassion, and self-examination. 
No nation or religion is automatically good; frequent 
comparison of values with behaviors is a huge part of what 
makes good people, good nations and good religions. Professor 
Schwartz weaves a readable and interesting tapestry of current 
and historical facts, scriptural citations, study findings, 
authoritative quotes and heartfelt common sense, all in the 
cause of finding the best course for Jews, for peace, and for the 
world. Highly recommended." — Karima Vargas Bushnell, 
co-author of Cultural Detective Islam (tm) and teacher of 
Intercultural Communication at Metropolitan State University. 
She helps others explore the borderlands between different 
religions and cultures, has a particular interest in cross-cultural 
mysticism, and now guides a small Sufi circle, the Nur Ashki 
Jerrahi Circle of Ishq.


"Schwartz offers a vision of traditional Judaism alive with love 
for humanity and respect for creation — a love and respect 
embodied as much in daily observance of halachah as in 
pragmatic actions to heal a wounded world. Even more, 
Schwartz's insights hold the potential to heal a deep rift in 
Judaism: he shows us that the elements of Orthodoxy that have 
dismissed urgent issues of social justice, like the problem of 
global warming, do not speak for all traditional Jews, much less 
traditional Judaism. For all persons who love Jewish law no less 
than Judaism's radical call to justice, Schwartz doesn't just ask 
'Who Stole My Religion?' — he shows a path to reclaim it." — 
Aaron Gross, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Farm Forward and 
Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of San 


"Richard Schwartz, in his pioneering advocacy of vegetarianism 
over many decades, has brought knowledge of its sources in the 
most profound and meaningful Jewish values and principles 
both to the Jewish community and into the American society-at- 
large. In his groundbreaking new work, Who Stole My 
Religion?, he expands on the Jewish values regarding the 
environment, animal protection, health and the elimination of 
poverty into a trenchant critique of how the Jewish community 
is, and is not, responding in accordance with the spirit of 
Judaism to these and other imperative issues such as climate 
change, criticism of Israeli policies, and social and economic 
inequality. The book is a must-read for people who urgently 
need to know that what passes for Judaism in some circles in 
the community these days is an avoidance and violation of the 
spirit of Judaism rather than an embrace of it — and how to 
overcome this grievous condition, retrieve and revive Judaism, 
and possibly contribute to saving the planet." — Aviva Cantor, 
author of Jewish Women/Jewish Men: The Legacy of Patriarchy 
in Jewish Life and The Egalitarian Haggada; Vice President of 
CHAI: Concern for Helping Animals in Israel.

"Tekiahl The venerable Richard Schwartz once again sounds a 
shofar blast of warning to wake up the Jewish community and 
the world. As unabated greed and climate change threaten life 
and religion as we know them, Schwartz urges actions rooted in 
the very heart of Judaism. We all would be wise to heed the 
call." — David Krantz, President and Chairperson, Green 
Zionist Alliance: The Grassroots Campaign for a Sustainable 


"Richard Schwartz has done it again! Who Stole My Religion? 
is an important, fascinating, and necessary book, perhaps 
needed more now than ever to create peace and environmental 
sustainability, while enhancing spirituality. Given the oeuvre of 
his leadership, writings, and other efforts, Dr. Schwartz 
deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. While particularly relevant to 
Jews, this wise and prophetic book would be useful for anybody 
who appreciates the highest values of their religion more than 
stultifying dogma and conservative ideology. Read this book, 
reclaim your religion, and let's co-create a better world!" — 
Dan Brook, Ph.D., Instructor at City College of San Francisco 
and San Jose State University; author of Modern Revolution, 
Understanding Sociology, and An Alef-Bet Kabalah.


"Richard Schwartz's previous work has been adored and well- 
respected during these past thirty years, but there comes a time 
when a man such as Richard produces his opus/epic tome, 
defining Judaism's magnificent and inspiring past, present 
conflicts, and glorious future. Such a book is now in your 
hands." — Robert Cohen, author, lecturer, and director of 


"Richard Schwartz knows as well as anybody how Jewish 
teachings apply to the world's most pressing problems. The 
impressive scope of his concern is fully on display in his new 
book. Who Stole My Religion? is a very personal story about 
how and why he became a Jewish activist and what he expects 
of his religion. I congratulate Richard for writing such an 
honest, engaging, important and timely book. I recommend it 
highly." — Charles Patterson, author of Eternal Treblinka: 
Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust 


"With so many people apparently oblivious of the climate 
catastrophe the world is rapidly approaching, Who Stole My 
Religion? is a breath of fresh air. I hope this excellent book will 
be widely read and its message heeded, helping fulfill Dr. 
Schwartz's dream of shifting our imperiled world to a 
sustainable path." — Bruce Friedrich, peace and justice 
advocate; author of The Animal Activist's Handbook 

"There are woefully few examples in history of lone individuals 
who bravely rose up to identify the underlying causes of 
problems that have plagued nations, societies and indeed, the 
world at large. All too often those voices were rapidly silenced, 
either through political subjugation, ignorance or indifference. 
Fortunately, despite overwhelming odds, there are those who 
have made a profound difference to the reigning status quo. 
Richard Schwartz is one such man. His new book identifies 
much of what we as Jews have failed to recognize as our planet 
heads inexorably towards an ecological meltdown. Politically, 
ethically, morally, economically, and scientifically, we are 
guilty of wearing blinkers when we look around and perceive 
what is happening to our world, especially in the face of global 
warming and also in our inability to obtain a just and peaceful 
settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
"Soundly basing his views on the profound teachings of the 
Torah and the inherent wisdom and compassion of our ancient 
faith, he provides an alarming analysis of how we are failing not 
only ourselves but also our duty to be a 'light unto the nations.' 
This book should be essential reading for everyone. I applaud 
Richard as a maverick and as a tzaddik, a truly righteous man in 
every sense of the word. He is one of the few individuals who 
gives me a sense that there is still hope if we act now to reverse 
the trends that are pushing us towards disaster." — Lionel 
Friedberg, Emmy Award-winning producer, director, writer 
and documentarian; Producer of A Sacred Duty: Applying 
Jewish Values to Help Heal the World. 


"If you think Judaism consists of occasional visits to a 
synagogue or Temple where congregants perform rituals and 
recite prayers without feeling and attend mainly to socialize, 
then this book is a must read. Schwartz reminds us that the very 
essence of Judaism is to struggle to find what is right and to 
have the courage to do right, including speaking out against 
evil. Worship accompanied by indifference to evil, the prophets 
said, is an abomination to God. Schwartz fulfills the best of 
Judaism by urging us to cry out against immorality, injustice, 
deceit, cruelty, and violence toward all living beings, rather than 
condone it with our silence, for in condoning empty rituals and 
standing silent in the face of immoral deeds, we make a 
mockery of Judaism itself" — Nina Natelson, Director, 
Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) 


"Richard Schwartz's illuminating and challenging new book is 
a valuable guide to living a humane Jewish life in our troubled 
and violent age." — Murray Polner, former editor of Present 
Tense, co-editor of Shalom: The Jewish Peace Letter. 


"Richard Schwartz is the most knowledgeable person alive on 
the teachings of Judaism on protecting animals and nature. His 
writings are brilliant, and his books always valuable and worth 
reading and discussing. I say this as a conservative, even a 
right-winger, who strongly disagrees with Richard's devotion to 
liberal tenets. But when he discusses the fate of our planet and 
the many environmental issues that threaten human civilization, 
and the responsibility of Jews to take action, there is no one 
better." — Lewis Regenstein, a 40 year veteran of the animal 
protection movement, is author of Replenish the Earth: The 
Teachings of the World's Religions on Protecting Animals and 


"Who Stole My Religion? is a challenge to contemporary Jewish 
communities: there is so much we should check about our 
current practices and affiliations! Is it a call for renovation of 
Jewish thought? Schwartz's answers for today's pressing issues 
derive from compassion and the pursuit of peace and justice. 
These, as he persuasively shows, go back to the roots of Jewish 
tradition. For me the book reclaims my religion, returning to 
the core of Jewish values — as my parents knew them and as 
did generations before them." — Yossi Wolfson, Coordinator of 
Ginger, the Vegetarian Community Center in Jerusalem.


"Richard Schwartz has been a consistent, clear, compassionate 
voice for the planet. This book once again illustrates his 
wisdom, insight and willingness to speak up. If the Jewish 
community takes this book to heart and makes the necessary 
changes, the world can follow. We can co-create a world that 
respects all life." — Rae Sikora, co-founder Plant Peace Daily; 
Institute for Humane Education, and Vegfund. 

"If ever there was a book that inspires us to recall the purest 
values of Judaism — it is Who Stole My Religion? Richard 
Schwartz, a true patriot for his faith, pushes the spiritual 
envelope of our conscience — and consciousness — to a deeper 
and richer re-acquaintance with this glorious faith tradition as 
he unflinchingly holds up a sometimes painful mirror from 
which Jews and non-Jews alike can no longer avert our 
gaze." — Dr. Kris Lecakes Haley, Department of Humane 
Religious Studies Co-Chair, Emerson Theological Institute.


"This is a book of plain speaking. In light of pressing 
economic, environmental, social, and political difficulties, we 
are in great need of such informed and candid commentary from 
members within each of the world's great religions. Who will be 
next to step up to the plate?" — Lisa Kemmerer, Ph.D., 
Associate Professor of philosophy and Religion at Montana 
State University, author and editor of Animals and World 
Religions, Sister Species, and half a dozen other books on social 
justice issues and/or religions. 

The following statements were written abut the first edition of the book

 Who Stole My Religion? covers a multitude of topics that are dear to the author's heart. When he writes about social and religious attitudes, his voice is no less strong and imperative than when he writes about climate change and all its ramifications for the changes that the human race must make in its collective lifestyle — or perish! Traditionally Judaism — the Judaism that Richard Schwartz so bravely and eloquently presents — would uphold and mandate these changes. I commend this book to anyone for whom Judaism is cherished as teaching us how to live our lives in loving stewardship of God's world." — Rabbi Simchah Roth, Herzliya, Israel 


"Richard Schwartz has boldly broadened the Jewish agenda, and allowed fresh air into the dogma and doctrine of Jewish faith and political and social judgment with candor. He reminds us that ours is a questioning faith of a choosing people in its never-ending search for that which embraces all the searchers of Godliness. Who Stole My Religion? is a book worthy of deep and respectful reading." — Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, rabbi emeritus of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, one of America's leading pulpit rabbis and a respected, widely- published author. 


"Who Stole My Religion? is magnificent! It is a vision of holiness, wholeness, and healing that speaks to the challenges facing Jews — and the rest of us — in the twenty-first century. This is what tikkun olam and bal tashchit and being a 'light unto the nations' are all about. The book is an eloquent summum of Richard Schwartz's vision that speaks to everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike. It will extend far into the future as a beacon for those who are tempted to lose faith, not only in God, but also in the ability of our tormented species to desist from destroying our neighbors, our home, and ourselves. My heartfelt congratulations!" — Norm Phelps, long time vegetarian activist; author of The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible, The Great Compassion: Buddhism and Animal Rights, and The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy From Pythagoras to PETA

"As a Jewish animal rights activist, I have always considered Richard Schwartz to be a mentor and someone I admire tremendously. His new book only corroborates that opinion as it passionately and persuasively goes beyond even the most important 21st-century concerns into the heart of Judaism itself. Every Jew — and non-Jew who is concerned with the future of our planet — should read Who Stole My Religion? " — Pauline Dubkin Yearwood, Managing Editor, Chicago Jewish News 

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