From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Raised as an Orthodox Jew, mostly in Atlanta, Cohen, editor of Jewish Life in Americamagazine, obsessed over the church across the street from his childhood home—a home onto which his father, a rabbi, added a place of worship for Orthodox services. Struck by a crisis of faith, and not long after marrying the converted daughter of a Baptist minister, he decided to see if Jesus couldn't lead him back to Judaism. Each week, mere hours after celebrating the Jewish Sabbath, he'd attend Sunday services. He visited myriad denominational churches, Faith Day at Turner Field, Winter Jam at the Georgia Dome and even the home church of Ultimate Christian Wrestling. After 30-odd years of speculating that the sun shines brighter on the church side of the street, and 52 weeks of an Oz-like journey, his yarmulke turned out to have the same power as Dorothy's red shoes. A delicious olio of guilt, longing, surprise, wonder, unease and of course humor, Cohen's quest has universal appeal. One need not be Jewish, Christian or even a seeker to enjoy this wonderful loop around the Bible Belt. (Oct.)
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Cohen is the son of an Orthodox rabbi; his book is part memoir, part spiritual quest, and part an “anthropologist’s mission.” His so-called inspirational exploration—that is, adventures—include jumping into a mosh pit at a Christian rock concert, taking a trip with a Mormon missionary, attending a Black Baptists service, going to a Christian wrestling match, and attending a sunrise Easter service on top of Stone Mountain. Cohen writes that what he learned from the year’s spiritual journey was that there are many paths people take to find faith in God and there are more similarities than differences in various religions. “Hanging out with Jesus has made me a better Jew,” he writes. Amen to that. --George Cohen
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