A Wider Bridge is proud to host Jewish educator from Israel, Yiscah Sara Smith, author of the book “Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living,” for a series of speaking events in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, between August 10 to 18, 2014

Yiscah Smith is a renowned Jewish educator and spiritual mentor, both in Jerusalem and Seattle. Yiscah’s life has been an inspiring and courageous journey of the joy and struggles of her own spirituality, gender identity, and commitment to living true to herself. In her own words, “The story I want to tell is my story of a man, facing his truth, embracing the woman she was always meant to be and returning to her faith with wholeness and authenticity.” Yiscah’s story is important for everyone to hear and will inspire and empower others who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to wholeness in their lives.


Chicago / Sunday, August 10, 2014:  Speaking event at a Chicago synagogue “Mishkan Chicago” at 7pm. Go to this event

New York / Tuesday, August 12, 2014: Speaking event at CBST at 7pm. Go to this event

San Francisco/ Thursday, August 14, 2014:  An evening at The Jewish Community Library at 7 pm. Go to this event

San Francisco/ Friday, August 15, 2014:  Yisach’s d’var Torah at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav.  Services start at 7:30 pm.

Los Angeles/ Monday August 18, 2014:  Speaking event at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, 7 pm.  Go to this event

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Yiscah Book FRONT Cover





Inspirational Thought for the Week

“The narrow-mindedness that leads one to see whatever is outside the bounds of one’s own people…as ugly and defiled is a terrible darkness that causes general destruction to the entire building of spiritual good, the light of which every refined soul hopes for.” –Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook[1]

[1] Musar Avikha, p. 96; English translation in Ish Shalom and Rosenberg, eds, The World of Rav Kook’s Thought, Jerusalem, Avi Chai, 1991, p. 212 – See more at:

My Story – 40 Years in the Wilderness

My story is not simply a tale of personal triumph over inner demons.  Rather, I am telling my story in order to, with the help of God, inspire and help others who are mired in obstacles — people for whom achieving a life of authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness feels impossible.  I, like many individuals, was paralyzed by fear, shame, and low self-esteem for most of my life.  Like me, these individuals find themselves unable to make the leap of faith they need to honor their own inner truth.  Many people, deep inside, yearn to somehow catapult past their personal demons, the forces strangling, suffocating, and wringing the life out of them.  My demons were gender identity confusion and the passionate desire to live a spiritual life within the Jewish tradition that conflicted with it.

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