Am I a Jew?: Lost Tribes, Lapsed Jews, and One Man's Search for Himselfby Theodore Ross
What makes someone Jewish?
Theodore Ross was nine years old when he moved with his mother from New York City to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Once there, his mother decided, for both personal and spiritual reasons, to have her family pretend not to be Jewish. He went to an Episcopal school, where he studied the New Testament, sang in the choir, and even took
What makes someone Jewish?
Theodore Ross was nine years old when he moved with his mother from New York City to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Once there, his mother decided, for both personal and spiritual reasons, to have her family pretend not to be Jewish. He went to an Episcopal school, where he studied the New Testament, sang in the choir, and even took Communion. Later, as an adult, he wondered: Am I still Jewish?
Seeking an answer, Ross traveled around the country and to Israel, visiting a wide variety of Jewish communities. From “Crypto-Jews” in New Mexico and secluded ultra-devout Orthodox towns in upstate New York to a rare Classical Reform congregation in Kansas City, Ross tries to understand himself by experiencing the diversity of Judaism.
Quirky and self-aware, introspective and impassioned, Am I a Jew? is a story about the universal struggle to define a relationship (or lack thereof) with religion.
TOM BISSELL, author of Extra Lives and Magic Hours
"Am I a Jew is a brilliant American odyssey, one that is both inside and outside of traditions both national and religious; it's also often very funny, and always very empathic; Ross has written a genuinely great book."
RIVKA GALCHEN, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
"[This] intelligent and altogether entertaining account of searching out the roots of identity will be of interest not only to those who've asked, 'Am I a Jew?' but also to anyone who's ever wondered, 'What am I, anyway?' One finishes this book thankful for a fuller understanding of the diverse strains within the Jewish tradition and not a little awed by the writer's compelling mix of skepticism, candor, and love."
GARRET KEIZER, author of Privacy and The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want
"An elegant guide for the perplexed inhabitants of our increasingly disorienting world, Am I a Jew? is a profound meditation on the nature of modern identity."
ROGER HODGE, author of The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism
- Hudson Street Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
Am I a Jew? It is an obvious question, but one that even the most sophisticated minds struggle to answer. It's a silly question, except millions have lost their lives, depending on their response. It's a religious question, except when an atheist asks it. There is, admittedly, a certain Hebraic quality in even asking it.
Meet the Author
THEODORE ROSS is the articles editor of Men's Journal. Cofounder of the parenting blog DadWagon, Ross's essays, features, and fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic, Saveur, Tin House, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his family.
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A thoughtful and thought provoking book by a young man on a quest for his spiritual essence. At times serious , at times humorous, always interesting. I'm not Jewish but found this book well worth reading-- thanks for the book mr ross.