Barry Zack

When Barry and his wife Joanne first moved to Sarasota in the spring of 2009, he was concerned that he would be unable to find people like the friends at the Ethical Culture Society in Maplewood, N.J. he lost in his move south. It wasn’t long before he discovered the HUSBAY luncheon, which happened to be on the Wednesday of that month’s Current Affairs Discussion Group.

Well, that’s all it took. One meeting with this group convinced him that he had found a new home. He’s never regretted for a minute making that choice, having met some of the most delightful and enlightened people. He now leads this group.

He took over this website, and attempts to maintain it diligently (notice the word “attempts”), and runs our the group that led him to join HUSBAY in the first place, Current Affairs .

During the 2011 Lecture season, with the help of some very dedicated HUSBAY members, he chaired the group selecting speakers and providing logistics.

While Barry is not sitting around, complaining about how our politicians are sending the world to hell in a hand basket, he is very involved in the environmental movement. His non-profit (intentionally) website is dedicated to the environment, providing news stories, climate change and endangered species awareness. It covers Green Buildings, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Recycling, Responsible Investing – to name a few.

Barry is the author of a novel, entitled Jewish Lightning. It’s a ccoming of age story of one who never quite comes of age. The subtitle os “So, what could go wrong?” Answer: EVERYTHING! You can learn more by clicking here. And speaking of writing, Barry does the monthly newsletter for the Sarasota Authors Connection 

He was formerly responsible for the Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club Group monthly newsletter; another effort to help preserve the environment from the assault by for-profit-only corporations.

Barry also does websites and newsletters for profit (using the word loosely). Let Barry know if you’re considering either one of those by contacting him here

To help Barry grumble about all of the things wrong in the world, he does a semi-irregularly scheduled blog on WordPress, which he aptly calls Restless Knights and Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.


What could go wrong, indeed? When will the lightning strike again? These are some questions readers are sure to ask as they travel with the protagonist, Henry Katz, along one perilous path after another.

Not long after his first “cutting-edge” religious experience, Henry develops some Supreme doubts. Throughout life, these add to his difficulties. Can he believe in a deity that imposes such a cruel initiation on a one-week-old child? Jewish Lightning answers the question in forceful prose.

His penchant for experimentation with chemicals as unstable as he keeps the action coming. Henry Katz’s story is told with combination of wit, irony and affection.

The author’s Brooklyn, Jewish background gives the reader a sense of place and indexes the catalogue of neuroses that proliferate in that setting. Although this is a coming-of-age novel, the character never quite comes of age. Just when you think he has risen above his earlier challenges, Henry manages to create new ones, even more hazardous than those previous.