Ellen's Books

Revolution of Jewish Spirit How to Revive Ruakh in Your Spiritual Life, Transform Your Synagogue & Inspire Your Jewish Community

(Jewish Lights Publishing 2012)

Prepare to revive your Jewish community with the transformative power of the Divine Spirit.

Growing numbers of Jews have become disengaged with the religion of their birth. They feel that Judaism fails to speak to them in meaningful ways, and that Jewish institutions and communities have become both stagnant and reactive. 
Rabbi Baruch HaLevi, one of the most inspirational and motivational Jewish leaders in America today, and congregant Ellen Frankel, author and dynamic speaker, offer a proactive response for reengaging Jews, reclaiming Judaism, and reviving Jewish community. They draw from the great success of HaLevi’s congregation Shirat Hayam in Greater Boston to show what is possible when divine spirit is central to the Jewish experience.

They identify the difference between a living synagogue and a dying synagogue and offer methods of reviving Jewish spiritual centers, federations, Jewish community centers, Jewish institutions and synagogues that serve as the heart of the Jewish tradition. They offer practical strategies for sustaining and expanding transformation, including tips for providing impassioned leadership, inspired programming, and inviting sacred spaces. 

Syd Arthur

(Pearlsong Press 2011)

Prince Siddhartha, raised behind palace walls and showered with every extravagance, abandoned his protected life to embark on a spiritual journey. He ultimately reached enlightenment, and became known as the Buddha--which means one who is awake--and spent his life teaching that everyone has the potential to awaken…

2,500 years later in the cloistered world of suburbia, meet Syd Arthur! Syd is a middle-aged Jewish woman who ispotentially awake, but likes to start her day with a strong cup of coffee, just in case. Her daughter has just left for college, and her diet is once again off track.  

While for most of her life she has been convinced that happiness can be attained by a magical number on the bathroom scale—or a really great shopping day at Bloomingdales—she finds herself in the grocery store with an empty shopping cart wondering if there just might be something more. After a tragic accident shakes her town and stirs up long buried pain, Syd finds herself questioning the meaning of her life. 

When East unexpectedly meets West, she embarks on a journey as a spiritual seeker ignoring her Mah Jongg groups’ insistence that this is merely a midlife crisis. 

Soon Syd is in over her chakras as her search takes her from the yoga studio, to the meditation hall, to the ashram’s gift store and to the pages of the Zensational catalogue. But once she discovers how to sift through the fluff and reach to the core, nothing can stop her journey toward Nirvana, not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom’s. 

Follow Syd as she finds her bliss and discovers a richness that rivals a Godiva truffle, making for one delicious enlightenment.


Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth

(Pearlsong Press 2006) 

A touching, tender and at times funny account of a woman's struggle for stature in a 4 foot 8 1/2 inch tall body, Beyond Measure speaks to the heart of soul-breaking attempts to fit an arbitrary and elusive cultural ideal of physical perfection. Being short isn't the problem, Ellen Frankel insists. Instead, the real difficulties lie in the social bias against short people. Ellen shares the difficulties of living short in a world in which stereotypes are based on gender and size. She moves beyond her own experience into the political realm in revealing how pharmaceutical companies--with government backing--are expanding the market for human growth hormone treatment by reclassifying healthy short children as patients in "need" of such injections in hopes of making them taller. She shares the dilemma of being subjected to simultaneous messages that her physical body should be bigger--that is, taller, but not wider--while her expansive spiritual body should be smaller. As a result of too much attention on the external rather than the internal workings of the soul, Ellen flirts with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with powerful males in an attempt to compensate for her feelings of not "measuring up." In the process, her real self slips farther away. The path out of her dilemma lies in the shadow of the tallest mountain on Earth. It is through a spiritual pilgrimage to Nepal that Ellen discovers her own strength and spirit, and that we are all dwarfed by Everest and beyond measure.


“If you have ever measured your height or your weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this book. In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a genuine solace for people of all sizes.”

Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size

“Delightful and provocative both as a personal journey and as a candid look at how the social prejudice against short stature has been reconfigured as a medical issue.”

Alan Cassels, co-author of Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patient


The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care

(Sourcebooks 2006)

By Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel

If you're one of the nearly 116 million Americans trying to lose weight, only to find that every diet you've tried has failed you, you are a diet survivor.

You can step off the destructive diet bandwagon and reclaim your self-esteem, positive body image and a happy, healthy life. These 60 inspiring lessons will give you the tools you need to change your relationship with food, your body and yourself.

Dieting is hazardous to your health. Diets don't work and they won't work, and yo-yo dieting will make you fatter.

This book can show you how to:
* Never diet again and allow your weight to stabilize
* Stop feeling guilty about eating the foods you love
* Free up all that mental energy to be more productive and have more fun in life
* Get in touch with physical hunger and learn to love your body

Give up the vicious cycle and stop overeating


Beyond a Shadow of a Diet: The Therapist’s Guide to Treating Compulsive Eating

(Brunner-Routledge 2004)

By Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel

"Learning to eat with hunger, to relish food and to enjoy one's body is our birthright. Beyond a Shadow of a Diet explains how the individual can begin to live in harmony with food and gives therapists the tools to better help those for whom eating has become, too often, a source of anguish into a pleasurable and reassuring part of life." - Susie Orbach, London School of Economics, UK

This accessible volume will guide therapists of all disciplines through step-by-step treatment of compulsive eating. The authors introduce the new research related to health, weight, fitness and diet failure, and then discuss a treatment method which advocates eating as guided by physiological signal: eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. The book offers tools for therapists to recognize compulsive eating patterns, use their training to address underlying psychological difficulties, and implement therapeutic principles for healing.

Beyond the Shadow of a Diet provides concrete steps for establishing a normal relationship with food and methods for understanding and treating the psychological aspects of compulsive eating.