Oy Vey! Isn’t a Strat­e­gy: 25 Solu­tions for Per­son­al and Pro­fes­sion­al Success

  • Review
By – April 20, 2012

Deb­o­rah Grayson Riegel is a well known coach for orga­ni­za­tions and indi­vid­u­als who also shares her exper­tise through arti­cles and pod­casts. Hav­ing availed myself of her ser­vices, first as a con­sul­tant for the orga­ni­za­tion I worked for, then as a reg­u­lar attendee of her train­ing ses­sions, and most recent­ly as a coach as I wres­tled with career chal­lenges, I eager­ly await­ed the pub­li­ca­tion of her book, which exceed­ed every expec­ta­tion that I had.

Although the cov­er describes Oy Vey as self-help/­coach­ing,” that des­ig­na­tion does not do it jus­tice. While the read­er does get some coach­ing and self-help, s/​he also gets insights from Ms. Riegel’s own life expe­ri­ences, spir­i­tu­al think­ing, lessons in sen­si­tiv­i­ty, prac­ti­cal ideas for lead­ing a pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al life, and exer­cis­es that help one explore his/​her true val­ues. And while the parts of the book do not unfold in a clear, lin­ear fash­ion, they come togeth­er through the under­ly­ing val­ues that run through the entire book.

The teach­ings are deliv­ered with humor (the author was part of a com­e­dy troupe ear­li­er in her life), warmth, and hon­esty. While the author’s intel­li­gence and knowl­edge shine through, what is even more sig­nif­i­cant is her wis­dom – the rare abil­i­ty to per­ceive new insights and link knowl­edge, apply­ing it to real life in prac­ti­cal ways.

Deborah’s hon­esty and open­ness are evi­dent on every page. Read­ing her work, you know that she doesn’t just write about more effec­tive liv­ing, she lives the ideas. She’s nev­er afraid to admit her own mis­takes, using them as lessons from which oth­ers can learn. Trans­paren­cy, humil­i­ty, and integri­ty come through.

As I read this book, my mind con­stant­ly linked it to the work of the mus­sar move­ment writ­ers, who linked eth­i­cal liv­ing, val­ues, and self-improve­ment in their Jew­ish lives and teach­ings. The same integri­ty and vision that the mus­sarniks expressed is shared in this enlight­en­ing and enter­tain­ing work. Bibliography.

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

Discussion Questions