New Jew, The

New Jew, The

An Unexpected Conversion

Lapsed Midwestern Catholic girl marries into a New York Jewish family, discovers gefilte fish, synagogue, matriarchal mother-in-law, and Judaism.


It really would be nice, dear, if you would join us for the High Holy Days, Sally's mother-in-law coaxed.

Sally s stomach clenched. A lapsed Catholic from the Midwest, still overcoming the shock from marrying into a Jewish family in Manhattan, she and her husband rarely discussed religion. Attend synagogue? She may as well have been asked to make gefilte fish. Little did she know her first time in a temple would be a rollercoaster ride of anxiety, hope and humor. It was to be a microcosm of her ten-year journey to becoming a Jew.

This breezy memoir recounts how Friedes, a nice Catholic girl from Milwaukee, became a nice New York City Jewish wife, in an adventure that takes her through marriage, motherhood and spiritual transformation.. Chicago Sun Times

[Friedes] 10-year journey to Judaism is chronicled in heartwarming terms that will appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. Publisher's Weekly


[The New Jew] will surely speak to anyone who has thought to themselves that being Jewish would endow their life with a meaning and purpose not found in other spiritual havens. For anyone considering conversion to Judaism, this book will prove useful. ~ Alan Caruba,

With this inspirational story, The New Jew, Sally Friedes chronicles her journey from Catholic outsider to full member of the Jewish community. Ms. Friedes reveals that there are comfortable seats at the family table of Judaism just waiting for seekers from other cultures and religions. The welcoming warmth of her husband’s family and the rabbi she studies with play a pivotal role in uncovering this truth for her and us in this extraordinary narrative. New Jew is an important addition to the library of rabbis and interfaith outreach professionals. ~ Karen Kushner, MSW is the director of Project Welcome an outreach program welcoming interfaith families, unaffiliated Jews and seekers into Independent, Renewal, Reconstructionist, Reform and Conservative synagogue

Sally Srok Friedes has created a gem of a book in The New Jew. The countless sensitive and moving moments of her personal faith journey are truly universal, and her beautifully crafted prose evokes a sense of both timeless searching and deep personal revelation. By enabling us to hear the true and engaging voices of her teachers, mentors, and family members, as well as her own, Friedes brings her readers through an enlightening journey of an open and loving heart, a deeply inquisitive mind, and a restlessly seeking soul, which are ultimately united in their quest for understanding and belonging. The New Jew is a must-read for those considering conversion to Judaism, as well as explorers of faith and ideas among those of all ages and backgrounds. ~ Andi Rosenthal, author and columnist,

With heartfelt sincerity and eloquence, Sally Friedes very movingly captures the voice, hopes, and fears of those who seek out Judaism. ~ Rabbi Bernice Weiss, founder and director of The Washington Institute for Conversion and The Study of Judaism, located in Washington D.C. and author of Converting to Judaism, Choosing to be Chosen, Personal Stories

Sally Friedes
Sally Friedes Sally Srok Friedes has spoken about her conversion experience at temples on both coasts, has written for several parenting publications, ap...
If You Fall by Karen Darke

If You Fall

Karen Darke

I always thought I'd rather be dead than paralysed: One slip, one moment and everything changes...

Rising in Love by Ram Das Batchelder

Rising in Love

Ram Das Batchelder

Conveys an American’s extraordinary journey of spiritual awakening with the well-known Guru, Amma, “the hugging Saint.”

Son of Karbala by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Son of Karbala

Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

Spiritual Experiments: The Portal of Truth by Matias Flury

Spiritual Experiments: The Portal of Truth

Matias Flury

The autobiography of an advanced Western seeker; a wild journey towards Enlightenment that includes many out-of-body experiences.

Breaking Free by Christopher Lee Power

Breaking Free

Christopher Lee Power

On Juniper Mountain by Angela Locke

On Juniper Mountain

Angela Locke

Leaving her isolated Lake District valley, writer Angela Locke finds herself on a life-changing journey in the Himalayas....

Escaping Gaza by Julie-Anne Sykley, Raed Zanoon

Escaping Gaza

Julie-Anne Sykley
Raed Zanoon

A true, rare, and haunting story about life inside the deadly Gaza Strip, a refugee's daring escape, and hope.

Sucking Up Yellow Jackets by Jeanne Denault

Sucking Up Yellow Jackets

Jeanne Denault

Not being able to grasp what other people are thinking wreaks havoc on a kind child and people around him.

Libya's Unknown Atrocity by Felicity Prazak

Libya's Unknown Atrocity

Felicity Prazak

The true story of one woman's 20-year fight for justice after the death of her husband in Libya.

login here

  • BOOKS:

join our mailing list submit enquiry login here