Three Questions With Rabbi Jamie Korngold

Welcome to the second installment of our new series: Three Questions With... In each installment we ask a different PJ Library author or illustrator questions about their work, their process, interests, etc... Today we're chatting with Rabbi Jamie Korngold, author of PJ selections, Sadie's Almost Marvelous MenorahSadie and the Big MountainSadie, Ori, and Nuggles Go to Campand Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always loved telling stories. I guess when it comes down to it, I love words. I love they way certain words sound — like bumble bee and crunchy toast. I love the power of words to paint a picture or share an emotion. 

Tell us about Sadie, your main character – what is she like? Is she based on a real-life Sadie?

The character Sadie is brave, empathetic, curious, tenacious and very creative. I respect Sadie’s ability to work through obstacles. She doesn’t stop just because she doesn’t know an answer or because something seems impossible. Rather she figures out a different way to make it work. Her personality traits are a based on the real-life Sadie but the actual adventures are mostly fictional. Mostly.

What was your favorite book or story as a child?

My favorite book when I was a child  was The Golden Story Book of River Bend. It’s by Patricia M. Scarry with illustrations by the incredible Tibor Gergely. I also loved Amelia Bedelia books, the original series by Peggy Parish. I passed this love onto my children, which I might come to regret. Yesterday the real Sadie told me she was going outside to help my husband Jeff jump start his truck. I came outside to find her jumping on the truck. Thank you, Amelia Bedelia! 

Rabbi Korngold is the author of 11 published books, with over 400,000 books sold. She is an ordained Reform rabbi and the founder and Senior Rabbi of the Adventure Rabbi Program. A favorite of the media, she has been featured by Good Morning America, USA Today, CBS, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Ski as well as many other outlets. She is nationally recognized for her innovative work combining religion and nature as well as for her distance learning program, which reaches students all over the world and her beloved Sadie and Ori series, published by Kar-Ben Publishing. Rabbi Korngold is best known for her ability to make Judaism relevant, meaningful, and accessible and therefore opening the doors back to Judaism for thousands of disenfranchised Jews. Through her nature-based approach to religion, she is able to bridge the gap between scientific thought and religion, healing a fissure that often disrupts spiritual paths. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and two daughters Sadie and Ori.