Jewish–Christian Difference and Modern Jewish Identity
Seven Twentieth-Century Converts
by Shalom Goldman
"A highly learned and intelligent analysis on important moments in the history of the encounters between Christianity and Judaism and the spiritual and communal journeys of individuals." —Yaakov Ariel, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The borders dividing the Jewish and Christian faiths are, for many, more fluid and permeable than ever before.
The history of Jewish-Christian relations has been tangled and tortured, and the stories of these seven men and women reveal some of its contemporary religious, ethnic, and political complications.
The Conversions of Ruth Ben David: Read an Excerpt From "Jewish–Christian Difference and Modern Jewish Identity"
For Madeleine Feraille/Ruth Ben David, conversion to Judaism was not the end of a process, but rather the beginning of one.
"An eye-opening, informative, well-researched, and important must-read." —Gordon D. Newby, Emory University
The 1945 Apostasy of Rabbi Zolli Revisited: Read an Excerpt From "Jewish–Christian Difference and Modern Jewish Identity"
"This is the greatest tragedy of my life. I slowly, almost imperceptibly became a Christian and could no longer be a Jew" —Israel Zolli
The older I get, the more it becomes clear that religion is as complex as humanity itself, and spiritual identities even more so.
Goldman opts to give a through and through historical account, taking sides only against those who would obscure these converts' own voices and beliefs, not for or against those who might share or critique those beliefs.
Goldman's narratives lead us to understand that neither the individual nor a reified Judaism is at the heart of issues of conversion and identity, but that at the center lie competing groups struggling to control the issue of "Who is a Jew?"
Gregory Eran Gronbacher
If religious identity issues interest you, you'll want to read this book.