Am I A Jew?
Lost Tribes, Lapsed Jews, and One Man's Search for HimselfBook - 2012
'I was nine years old when my mother forced me to convert to Christianity . . . '
When Theodore Ross moved from New York City to a small town in Mississippi, his recently divorced mother insisted upon a radical reinvention- the family would pretend to bot be Jewish. As such, Ross was sent to an Episcopal school, where he studied the Bible, sang in the choir, and even took communion.
As an adult, Ross abandoned the religious charade but could not undo the impact of his childhood. The distance between the religious identity of his youth and the conventional Judaism of his forebears left him to confront a single, deceptively complicated question- Am I a Jew?
He set out to find a answer by looking into a wide array of contexts and communities. Drawn to the fringes of Jewish identity, Ross immersed himself among the 'Crypto-Jews' of New Mexico, the 'Lost Tribes' who have migrated to Israel, and the ultra-Orthodox seeking to 'return' their secular brethren to strict observance. He hoped that by reckoning with these disparate religious lives, he would come to an understanding of his own.
Filled with humor, curiosity, and sincerity, Am I a Jew? Is an exploration of America's riotous religious diversity, and one man's quest to stake a claim within it.