The reviews are in! On Amazon.com, that is.
The Chameleon in the Closet: A Conservative Jewish Mother Reaches Out to Her Orthodox Sons traces the universal journey parents take as their children try to find their place in the world. When her older son broke with his Conservative Jewish upbringing and plunged into Orthodoxy, BJ Rosenfeld was confronted with the challenge of accepting or rejecting his rigorous beliefs. Somewhere along the way… [read more]
It is almost painful to read this mother’s account of reconciling herself to the changes her sons made in their lives. Not because of the writing–she excels at that–but because she does such an excellent job, her emotions are palpable. We raise our children with expectations–our own–and that’s the problem. When they’re young we steer their decision making. As they mature, we anticipate their steps into adulthood. Nothing prepares us for radical diversions from the road on which we initially placed them.
Knowing little about the Jewish world, this book was a terrific journey as seen through the eyes of a Jewish mother trying to navigate the often turbulent path of being a parent. I laughed, and I cried as the author dared to be authentic to dig deep inside herself to share her feelings, her beliefs, her fears, her confusion, and her frustration, as well as her happiness, her laughter, and her pure joy in some amazing recollections of her life moments (sometimes all at the same time!)—all in search of love and compromise to attempt to find her place in the lives of her children. As parents, we cannot choose the path for our children; however we do choose our path as to whether we travel this journey together with them (or not). What a lovely and heartfelt story regarding one woman’s journey into herself as well as her learning about the intricacies of what her life means to be Jewish, and more importantly, what her life means to be a mother of her Jewish children and grandchildren. Thank you for sharing your example and your courage to love.