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About The Book

A moving coming-of-age memoir in the vein of Unorthodox and Educated, about one young woman’s desperate attempt to protect her children and family while also embracing her queer identity in a controlling Hasidic community.

Growing up in the Hasidic community of Brooklyn’s Borough Park, Sara Glass knew one painful truth: what was expected of her and what she desperately wanted were impossibly opposed. Tormented by her attraction to women and trapped in a loveless arranged marriage, she found herself unable to conform to her religious upbringing and soon, she made the difficult decision to walk away from the world she knew.

Sara’s journey to self-acceptance began with the challenging battle for a divorce and custody of her children, an act that left her on the verge of estrangement from her family and community. Controlled by the fear of losing custody of her two children, she forced herself to remain loyal to the compulsory heteronormativity baked into Hasidic Judaism and married again. But after suffering profound loss and a shocking sexual assault, Sara decided to finally be completely true to herself.

Kissing Girls on Shabbat is not only a love letter to Glass’s children, herself, and her family—it is an unflinching window into the world of ultra-conservative Orthodox Jewish communities and an inspiring celebration of learning to love yourself.

About The Author

Photograph by Noa Green

Sara Glass, PhD, LCSW, is a therapist, writer, and speaker who helps members of the queer community and individuals who have survived trauma to live bold, honest, and proud lives. She lives in Manhattan, New York. Find out more at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (July 18, 2024)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668031216

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Raves and Reviews

“A searing testament to the strength in claiming one’s destiny.”
The Washington Post

“A high-stakes journey of secrets, redemption, and one woman's fight for her truth.”
—Anna Martin, Host of the New York Times Modern Love Podcast

“Dr. Glass has given an honest, jarring, fascinating look at a world few people know. She has resisted the urge to sentimentalize or speak in euphemisms. Rather it is honest, beautifully told, and wrenching.”
—Max Gross, author of The Lost Shtetl, winner of The National Book Award and the Jewish Fiction Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries

“Searching and provocative, this book chronicles a woman’s struggle with faith and freedom while also celebrating the necessity of personal choice. A courageously candid memoir.”

“[Written] with astonishing empathy for the people and forces that stood between her and liberation. Few readers will be unmoved by the depth of [Glass's] struggle or the strength of her resistance. This leaves a mark.”
—Publishers Weekly

“By no means an easy read, but definitely a necessary one.”

“Sara Glass’ heartfelt story of balancing motherhood, career aspirations, sexuality, and faith while breaking away from her Hasidic origins gives us a fascinating look at the complex tapestry of Jewish life in New York and beyond. Her honest, flaws-and-all self-examination, while coming from a very specific and unique place, reveals universal truths.”
—Stuart Rojstaczer, author of The Mathematician’s Shiva

“Lyrical and evocative, Glass offers an immersive read and an unflinching view of life in a secluded ultra-religious sect of Judaism. However, it is also, and perhaps foremost, the story of the self-shattering struggles that many experience when rigid conformity and compliance override freedom; and where silence, secrecy, and obedience outweigh truth, health, or hope. Sara Glass carved her own path to life, and her book may well help shape it for others.”
—Na’ama Yehuda, author of Communicating Trauma

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