Carole Cutner

Stuart Matlins

Economist and religious scholar Stuart M. Matlins is best known for his interfaith work. In 1996, he wrote How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Guide Handbook, a tool to help “well-meaning guests to feel comfortable, participate to the fullest extent possible, and avoid violating anyone’s religious principles — while enriching their own spiritual understanding.” Matlins also authored The Perfect Stranger’s Guide to Funerals and Grieving Practices (2000) and The Perfect Stranger’s Guide to Wedding Ceremonies (2000). 

Matlins has worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and Booz Allen Hamilton. He is currently editor-in-chief and publisher at Jewish Lights Publishing and SkyLight Paths Publishing. He received the American Jewish Distinguished Service Award in 2006 and the Abraham Geiger Medal in 2014.

Festival Years: 1998, 2000