Seasons in Sheol: A Black Woman’s Nightmare Journey
Through Synagogue Culture

9781440148972

A self-professed and eager integrationist, author Kush Miri converted to Judaism and entered the synagogue’s employ with high hopes and an open heart. Her experiences there left her without faith in God, physically and mentally scarred, and abandoned by her congregation. In this memoir, Miri reveals the discrimination and persecution that took place during her seven years of employment.

Season in Sheol paints a portrait of Miri’s difficult inner-city childhood, her early family and religious experiences, and her journey to enter the Jewish faith. Ten years after converting to Judaism, Miri accepts a job in a synagogue and immerses herself in Jewish culture. Her descriptions of the activities, rites and practices of Judaism, and Judaism’s history provide a fresh and comprehensive overview for both Jews and non-Jews. Initially welcomed among her congregation, Miri experienced a radical change in their attitude. With the arrival of a new rabbi, she found herself castigated by congregants with whom she had formed warm and cordial relations.

Despite her bitter experience, Miri refuses to renounce Judaism—an essential part of her identity. Season in Sheol serves as an important reminder that people can convince themselves of inner good while committing outer acts of malice.

Kushi Miri was a teen actress in musical theatre. As a writer, her journalism has appeared in national magazines, and her poetry has appeared in literary anthologies. She is an accomplished textile artist and her artwork has been on exhibit throughout the Northeast. She is married and has one daughter. I am honored to call her my friend.

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