Books and Brief Bio


Encountering The Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died, published by Pen-L Publishing (April 2014). Free of religious agendas and pat answers, these are true quirky stories about my hospice patients and what they most cared about and believed in. Topics include how patients responded to my singing, and what some patients had to say about the afterlife. In the last chapter, I delve into the deeper reasons for choosing this “offbeat” line of work by imagining what it might be like for me to be on hospice and visit with my match, a chaplain. The book is endorsed by a reporter from The Huffington Post. My goal in writing the book was to provide a gentle and even humorous entree to a forbidding yet mesmerizing subject

You can get the soft cover and Kindle editions on Amazon or directly from the publisher at Audio is now available as well through Amazon or . Bulk rates for ten copies or more are available from the publisher. It is also available through Barnes and Noble both as a softcover and as a Nook book at Moreover, you can order it through your favorite  nearby bookstore. For more information you can email me at

Nutshell Biography

Ordained in 1992, I am among the first 200 female rabbis worldwide. In 2007 I became a board certified chaplain and served hospices for 11 years including Princeton Hospice, and Center for Hope Hospice in Elizabeth, NJ.  Since 2020, I have made a major career change, serving as Chief Marketing Officer at my husband’s own company, True Contrarian Investments. There I use my interpersonal skills making clients feel paid attention to, which we all want at all stages of life.

In 2017, I released a new book, Curiosity Seekers, a collection of compassionate  science fiction stories. These gentle stories are interconnected, and feature an old-fashioned couple, Gomer and Muriel Ackerman, who live in the near future. In one story, their financial planner Virginia becomes one of the first people cured of dementia. In another, the Ackermans’ niece meets an alien species that must be stingy with words in order to survive.  The softcover and Kindle version of the book is available on Amazon:


You can reach me directly at

12 thoughts on “Books and Brief Bio

  1. Joel Grossman says:

    I am a hospice chaplain, an interfaith minister ( graduate of the Chaplaincy Institute for the Arts and Interfaith Ministry) and a born and practicing Jew (Conservative by background and local shul – only shul in the area, Renewal by orientation). I found your writing in the latest Hospice News Network, your “Payoffs of Pain” article, and look forward to reading your future postings. I would like to receive the “Encountering the Edge” excerpt.

    I have hopes of starting some kind of social media site to share positive Muslim – non Muslim relations events and need social media consultation. Might you provide such? If so, please email me to say how I can call you.


    Joel Grossman

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Karen, Your book sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steven Masters says:

    Will you have an E-reader version? You have done something that some of us hospice chaplains have always threatened. I had one PT who was unresponsive so I was singing to her. She suddenly woke up and said “Quit your singing and bring me some food”. She died later that day. But it was still funny,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pen-L Publishing told me that as far as ebooks are concerned, it will be available on Kindle in about a month. Would that fit the bill? If so, I’ll notify you. Interesting that you mention an anecdote where the singing went wrong, because I have a similar story in the book. How’s that for a teaser? As far as writing your own stories, if you wish to write one self-contained story, I could post you as a guest blogger.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jean Kim says:

    Good luck tonite at the Kearny library book event! Best wishes for your new book with its subtle but compassionate insights….pleasure to read your blog once in a while..Jean k.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, interesting that you were among the first rabbis ordained. Send a link to any writings about that. A Reform or conservative branch?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not that I want to keep pitching my book, but since you specifically asked about my writings on being a female rabbi (Reform), I must mention that I give some anecdotes about that in Chapter One. These are not about female rabbis in general, or even rabbis in general but about what happened to me. Other clergy probably will relate. You can see all about the book on the left sidebar of my blog; it’s called Encountering the Edge: What People Told Me Before They Died.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. robertday154 says:

    Intrigued by your book of science fiction stories, especially the naming of your characters. Did you choose the name ‘Ackerman’ deliberately?

    Liked by 1 person

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