Journeys to a Jewish Life: Inspiring Stories from the Spiritual Journeys of American Jews

Paula Amann, Author . Jewish Lights $19.99 (185p) ISBN 978-1-58023-317-0

The return of nonreligious Jews to Orthodox Judaism has sparked a number of books, but the quieter yet equally committed journeys back to all streams of liberal Judaism have taken place “largely out of the limelight,” says journalist Amann. To sample their distinctive and roundabout paths, Amann interviewed close to 70 people who have “come home” to their own heritage. The book's three sections mirror the stages of the subjects' spiritual journeys: “Homeward” chronicles stories of inspiration, alienation and finding community; “Doors to the House” explores portals into Judaism—family, the arts, social justice, illness and loss; and “Dwelling Places” offers tales of encounters with God and new personal rituals, as well as lessons for fellow seekers. Despite Amann's clear, engaging writing, each chapter is presented in a stand-alone, news story style, leaving the disjointed feeling of reading through a string of interviews. Driven by her own winding road home beginning with a secular childhood, through Eastern religions and Quakerism to a women's Passover seder that reawakened her Jewish spirit, Amann is an apt representative of the meandering spiritual seekers she calls “pilgrims,” and the book will be a beacon to others who may be on a Jewish quest. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-58023-785-7
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-1-68336-159-6
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