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Ellen Jaffe-Gill

(formerly Ellen Jaffe McClain)

Ellen Jaffe-Gill is an author of books for adults and teens, a nationally published journalist, a veteran teacher, an accomplished lecturer, a Jewish educator, an advocate for any number of causes, a gifted mezzo-soprano, and a terrific cook. (But she can't throw a ball from first to third.)



Ellen Jaffe-Gill has compiled a provocative, insightful volume of short writings by Jewish women that includes voices across the spectrum of tradition and belief, representing women of many different nations and walks of life. In The Jewish Woman's Book of Wisdom, Ellen addresses themes of feminism, spiritual connectedness, ethnic identity, adversity, parenthood, faith, and many other aspects of being a Jewish woman. Ranging in age, period, and experience from Anne Frank to Betty Friedan, from Gluckel of Hameln to Roseanne, the women in The Jewish Woman's Book of Wisdom represent the collective consciousness of a vibrant population that has contributed greatly to the world of ideas, literature, and learning.

Click on book cover to read more about The Jewish Woman's Book of Wisdom.


Published by BasicBooks in December 1995 (under Ellen's old name, Ellen Jaffe McClain), Embracing the Stranger: Intermarriage and the Future of the American Jewish Community examines one of the thorniest problems in that community. Why have so many Jews chosen to marry non-Jews during the past thirty years, something their parents and certainly their grandparents wouldn't have considered doing? Who are the Jews who intermarry, and who are the Gentiles they marry? How can Jewish families and institutions encourage mixed couples to participate in Jewish life and rear Jewish children? Embracing the Stranger addresses all these questions and many more as it challenges the assumptions many people hold about Jewish intermarriage and intermarriers.

Click on book cover to read more about Embracing the Stranger.


When someone spray-paints FAGGOT on the car of Janice Green's favorite teacher, her community is thrown into turmoil. To Janice and her best friend, Holly, Mr. Padovano's being gay is no more important than having brown hair, but to Janice's fearful mom, Mr. P is a threat, and to Janice's nemesis, Kevin Lynch, he's a daily reminder of a painful reality in his own life. First published in 1994 by Lodestar Books and reissued in paperback by Puffin Books in February 1997 (under Ellen's old name, Ellen Jaffe McClain), No Big Deal gives a smart, funny 9th-grade misfit a distinctive voice as it explores an issue that has grabbed headlines around the nation.

Click on book cover to read more about No Big Deal.

Ellen Jaffe-Gill has published articles in a number of national magazines and local newspapers, including The Village Voice, Popular Computing, YM and Seventeen. She has contributed a number of feature stories and columns to Moment magazine and has been an active book reviewer for a number of Jewish and secular publications. Since March 2000, she has been a contributing writer for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. To get her byline into your publication, send her an e-mail at matmid@earthlink.net.

Since the publication of Embracing the Stranger and more recently in connection with her new book, The Jewish Woman's Book of Wisdom, Ellen has been lecturing across the United States at temples, Jewish community centers, bookstores, and many other venues. For more of Ellen's biography, click here.

To find out more about Ellen's work as a speaker and scholar-in-residence, click here, and to find out her availability to speak at your synagogue or organization, send her an e-mail at matmid@earthlink.net.