The New Jew: An Unexpected Conversion

Sally Srok Friedes, Author . O Books $19.95 (212p) ISBN 978-1-84694-189-4

This easy-to-read memoir describes how a Catholic girl from Milwaukee came to New York, married a well-to-do Jew and gradually decided, despite setbacks and obstacles, to convert to Judaism. She discusses feeling strange at her initial Passover Seder, but being pleased by the judge who incorporated Jewish elements in the wedding ceremony. She was upset by the rabbi at her first High Holiday service and by the teacher when she tried to take a course on Judaism: both railed against intermarriage. After giving birth to a son, Friedes attended High Holiday services again, and this time felt better about the rabbi's sermon. When the family moved to the suburbs, she began to study with the rabbi of the local synagogue, which eventually led to her conversion. A side effect of this experience was strengthening the bond with her mother-in-law, who, unfortunately, died shortly after Friedes became a Jew. The author's 10-year journey to Judaism is chronicled in heartwarming terms that will appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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