“Jessica tells the story of her struggle for authenticity and belonging with honesty and humor, even as we spiral, intensely, to the core of her being and identity — to her unapologetic, truest self.”
–Rabbi Susan Silverman, Author of Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World and Activist including founder of KAMOCHA: A Jewish Response to Refugees, on the Board of Directors of Women of the Wall, on the International Council of The New Israel Fund, and founding director of Second Nurture: Every Child Deserves a Family – And a Community.
“Jessica’s story provides a critical perspective for both Israelis and American Jewry. For all its sharp criticism of different facets of life in Israel, it is a Zionist treatise anchored in a deep love for the State and its people. At the same time, it presents a challenging indictment of the new generation of American Jewry. This is not a story of black and white, but rather of Jewish life’s complexity, of core values, and of the realities facing both major Jewish communities.”
–Rabbi Uri Regev, President and CEO of Hiddush, an organization advancing religious freedom and equality in Israel, and internationally renowned leader and advocate of religious liberty and the liberal movements of Judaism.
“Jessica Fishman dedicated her life to being Jewish. She left her whole life behind in Minnesota — including her Hadassah-President mother and her synagogue-centric family — in order to live in Israel, serve as a Lone Soldier in the IDF, represent Israel to the world in the IDF Spokesperson unit, and search for a nice Jewish guy to spend her life with. Yet, despite all this dedication — which came with its share of challenges and struggles — the Israeli government does not consider Jessica Jewish.
Jessica has a crucial story to tell. Hers is a story about how the Jewish state deals with Jews of the world, how fanatic versions of Orthodoxy have taken over vital areas of Israeli governance, and how this antiquated system has instilled an entire society in cultures of judgment and exclusion rather than into an ethos of love and compassion. The story is required reading for anyone concerned with the moral compass of the Jewish state and the ultra-Orthodox monopoly on being Jewish in Israel today.”
–Dr. Elana Maryles Sztokman, PhD, is an award-winning author, and leading Jewish feminist thinker, educator and activist. She specializes in gender inclusion in the Jewish world, and has worked with communities, organizations and individuals around the world on advancing gender inclusion and gender equity. In August 2015, she founded The Center for Jewish Feminism to provide resources and connections among Jewish feminists around the world.
“With wit, wisdom, and tears, Jessica Fishman, an idealist, a Zionist, and a Jew everywhere but Israel, tells of her encounter with Israel’s despicable refusal to accept non-Orthodox conversions. She wins some and loses some as she engages our emotions together with hers.”