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The New Jew: An Unexpected Conversion Paperback – April 16, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with the death of author Sally Srok Friedes' mother-in-law in present time. This was a poignant start, as I had just lost my mother when I began reading. The funeral and shiva (first week of mourning) descriptions truly depict Judaism and a Jewish community at its best. We are then taken back to the beginning of the author's journey to becoming Jewish, back when becoming Jewish wasn't a goal at all.
Time and again, the author tries to get more involved in learning about Judaism so that she doesn't feel so lost and ignorant when around her husband's family and folks at the synagogue, but each time, she is insulted, ostracized, and marginalized by rabbis who are opposed to interfaith marriage and see her marriage to husband Michael as a crime against Judaism. It is to her credit that she perseveres.
I found myself on an emotional roller coaster with her, embarrassed when a rabbi uses his Rosh Hashanah sermon to rant about interfaith marriages and presenting Judaism as an exclusive by-invitation-only club rather than welcoming those who might add to the Jewish community. I was saddened by Michael's distance from Judaism while he resists Sally's embrace of it, even as I knew his was a completely normal reaction. I cheered when Sally finally found a rabbi--and a synagogue--who could truly appreciate not only who she was, but who she could become.
Everyone's Jewish journey is different, and yet there are shared elements that remind us how we are all connected. In "The New Jew," we can all find ourselves within these pages.
As a young woman just beginning the conversion process myself, I was empowered to see the many different thought processes that Ms. Friedes went through on her journey, as I have already experienced many of the same.
Thank you for sharing your story.
strength to do this. Kudos to Ms. Friedes for sharing her journey with us. Hopefully, it will give courage to those considering a similar path.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book for anyone interested in the Jewish faith. The story sucks you in and keeps you coming back, while explaining what Judaism is all about. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Terese Hill
I just spent a year and a half going through the conversion process. My family is comprised of lapsed Roman Catholics, agnostics and atheists. Read morePublished on December 24, 2013 by Cynthia Lisle
The author presents her realistic and emotional journey to conversion. It will be a book a keep for a long time.Published on August 21, 2013 by cooperkat10
This book was really great for me being at a similar stage in my life as the author. Her candor, openness and honesty really came through and I felt like I was listening to a... Read morePublished on October 23, 2012 by Kindle Customer
Awesome! This is a moving, personal and well written book. Great for the person who is exploring conversion who has a jewish spouse. Read morePublished on April 24, 2012 by Julz