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Doublelife: One Family, Two Faiths and a Journey of Hope Paperback – January 21, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


An inspiring story of the Jewish tradition's capacity to move souls and to change lives. The thunderbolt conclusion will keep you thinking for days . . .
 - Daniel Gordis, Award-Winning Author of The Promise of Israel

Doublelife captures what it means to find your true soul. Every interfaith couple, indeed every spiritual seeker should read this remarkable story.
 - Rabbi David Aaron, Bestselling Author of The God-Powered Life

Touching and eloquent. Doublelife will enliven your spirit. Totally absorbing and surprisingly honest, you'll laugh and cry with the Bermans, and then cheer at their triumph of faith.
 - Voices Magazine

Doublelife is a moving and engaging story of a couple who found love - and their destiny - embracing the Jewish faith and each other. Told in an accessible format that reveals its authors' charming personalities, Doublelife is a book that will speak to anyone with an open mind and a big heart.
 - Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post's Film Critic and Author of If I Could Tell You

This is a sacred story - an achingly beautiful story. I was touched and moved many times over while reading it. In truth, I didn't want to let it go from the very first page. The writing is so true, so authentic, so real and alive. There is so much that is profound, so much that is heart-warming, so much we all have to learn from the Bermans' journey.
 - Susan Vorhand, Author of The Mosaic Within

About the Author

Harold and Gayle Berman are the founders of J-Journey, a program of support services for intermarried families interested in exploring observant Jewish life.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Longhill Press (January 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061572115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615721156
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harold Berman writes the popular blog about his adventures running multiple marathons and the lessons he has learned for going beyond our limits. Harold is a professional content writer for web sites and blogs, corporations and non-profits. He is also the author of "Jewish Adoption - Unique Issues, Practical Solutions" (Jewish Lights Publishing), and his writing has been featured in the Boston Globe, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, as a regular contributor to The Forward, and in numerous places online. He is the former Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts and has led several non-profit organizations. Harold graduated from New England Conservatory of Music and received his law degree, cum laude, from Boston College.

Gayle Berman is an internationally acclaimed singer, and has performed and conducted throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East. While still a student at the University of Wisconsin, Gayle won the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. She then went on to perform leading roles with companies such as the Rome Festival Opera, Lake Geneva Opera Festival, San Antonio Opera, Boston Academy of Music, Madison Opera, and with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Gayle has also served on the voice faculties of several colleges and universities, most recently Clark University and Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts.

For more information, see, and the Bermans' new project for interfaith families interested in exploring becoming traditional Jewish families -

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Hadassah Milner on April 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
In essence, this is a love story - between Harold and Gayle, and with Judaism. Harold and Gayle meet, and it's the quintessential coup de foudre - love at first sight. I know that feeling well. When I met my KoD I knew he was the one for me, instantly. There is no rhyme or reason, it's just the way it is. Harold, a Jew, was not much involved in Judaism, and Gayle was the Minister of Music in a Texas church.

This book is written as a series of letters - initially I was worried that it might take away from the story, but actually it was a lovely way to weave the tapestry of their life together. These letters take us through the ups and downs of the Berman's life together, chronicling the big things and the small. Gayle starts out completely uninterested in converting to Judaism, and Harold doesn't even think about asking her to do so. They are happy with their lives the way they are.

Over time, things changed for them. Harold started to discover the joy of Judaism, and slowly wanted more and more. We feel Gayle's confusion when she writes that Harold took on more Jewishly without discussing it with her, and how that hurt her. We read of her struggles with Christianity, trying to reconcile her double life of Judaism at home, and Christianity at work.

We travel with them to adopt their son from Russia, and later their little girl. They had decided at the beginning of their marriage that they were not going to have children. That there was no need. After a while there was a void that only children could fill, and they recognized that and worked together to be on the same page.

Gayle's journey toward conversion and Orthodoxy was a difficult one, but one that she undertook wholeheartedly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie Smallman on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If "Doublelife" were a Hollywood movie, it would have started with the couple's whirlwind courtship and ended with their engagement. Roll credits, cue music, everyone lives happily ever after. But this isn't Hollywood and it isn't a movie. It is the real-life story of Harold Berman, a New York Jew, and Gayle Redlingshafer, a Midwestern Christian. Make no mistake, this is, at its core, a love story. But it it about love in all its forms: the love between a man and a woman; the love of family; the love of music; the love of God for his creations and of us for God.

Their story told in a series of letters to one another, Harold and Gayle bring us into their world and along on their journey from intermarried childless (by choice) couple to their ultimate destination: Observant Jewish family. Like any journey worth taking, theirs is not an easy one; there is joy, there is sadness, there is anger and there is frustration. But more than anything there is honesty, love and committment.

As Harold and Gayle's spiritual odyssey takes on a greater presence in their lives, their relationship goes through many changes. These growing pains are handled honestly. There is no "bad guy" just two people struggling to ensure that drawing closer to God does not drive them apart. As a Jew there were times I was totally on Team Harold. And as a woman there were times I was totally on Team Gayle. But in the end I found myself solidly on Team Berman Family.

I highly recommend "Doublelife".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a good read - well written, with descriptions of thoughts *and* feelings that are well thought out, and at the same time clearly genuine. On that basis alone, it's worth reading. However, if this book has caught your eye because the experiences of the authors seem similar to yours, then you may find the book to be stunningly relevant, as I did.

If you are in an interfaith marriage, or if religion or spirituality unexpectedly become more important to you or your spouse and this has caused tension in your marriage, then I believe this book has a lot to offer you, whether or not your situation resolves as well as the authors' struggles did for them. Your religion may differ from theirs, or your conclusions about religion may differ, initially or ultimately, but the model they present for communicating respectfully but honestly and directly with each other (and with themselves) through the changes they experience is valuable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on February 4, 2013
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Doublelife: One Family, Two Faiths and a Journey of Hope

If this were fiction it would be an uplifting and enjoyable, quick read. Since it is a true story of a family struggle for religious identity it is even more compelling. The underlying message of growth and communication during life's journey is something with which any reader can identify - just by substituting your own personal struggles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Fuller on May 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I have to say that this book is engaging and well-written. If I was rating it on that alone, I would have given it 5 stars. But there are other factors to consider, and I had some problems with the book as a "journey of hope" for interfaith couples. From the title and the back cover blurb, I expected this to be a story about a couple who were able to incorporate both Judaism and Christianity into their marriage and their lives. That's not what this book is about. It's more about the journey of a Jew discovering deeper meaning in Orthodoxy and a Christian who converted to the faith. A Christian struggling to maintain his/her faith in an interfaith marriage wouldn't get much out of this book, other than interesting information about Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism in particular.

As a Christian, I would have liked to have seen more of Gayle's faith journey. Harold describes his thoroughly-- the dissatisfaction with a superficial faith, the steps that led him to find his place as an Orthodox Jew. His leap was not as large as Gayle's yet her journey is more glossed over. I realize that she's looking back on those years through the lens of an Orthodox Jewish convert, and feelings about the past tend to change as we change. But I kept feeling there had to be more than "this feels right". I understand Harold's dissatisfaction, but I don't understand why Gayle now rejects Christ as the Messiah. What problems did she have with Jesus? Other than a mention of a speaker pointing out reasons why Jesus couldn't be the Messiah, there's nothing else. I think a deeper perspective on her part is needed in a book with the words "two faiths" on the cover.

Ultimately, this book is an excellent resource for Jewish families wanting to deepen their faith, or for a Christian who has already made the decision to convert and needs extra reassurance. However, if your looking for a story about an interfaith couple who makes interfaith work, this isn't the book for you.
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