As Ross acknowledges at the start, such non-normative Jews are immediately suspect to many Israelis, who fear that Judaism is being used by poor foreigners to gain Israeli citizenship under the country's Law of Return, which nationalizes all Jews who choose to move to Israel. "Undoubtedly," Ross writes, "some of them are driven...by economic opportunities that might await them in Israel. Yet I was convinced that nearly everyone I met was sincere in his or her commitment to Judaism." It is clearly one of Ross's goals to support these Jews in their efforts to be recognized as such, and to subtly chastize orthodox rabbis who throw roadblocks in their way.
Ross's writing can grow tiresome; his case studies never spring to life as one would hope. He is relentlessly sympathetic to his subjects, perhaps to a fault. Yet his book fills a void in the literature, and will become a standard work in Judaica.