A.J. Campbell is divorced, a butch lesbian, a cancer survivor, a Girl Scout leader, and an observant Jewish mom with a disabled child living in the leafy Washington, DC suburb of Takoma Park with her dog, cat and four chickens. When she isn't writing or working as a graphic artist, she is the Director of the Nice Jewish Girls, the nation's only community exclusively for Jewish Lesbians.
When I was a kid, I would see the women gather at the mikveh. Mothers would leave the kids behind along with the dishes, laundry, shopping trips and soccer practice. They would bring trays of…sweets, nuts and dried fruit to share, making a half day “off.” It was a time to get together when they could just be women, sharing the exasperations of parenthood and the tribulations of marriage. I imagined each voice finding an open and receptive ear—unlike family life that generally centered around the kids needing something… >> Read More
I grew up in two observant communities in Los Angeles. My parents varied from ultra orthodox for years to having shrimp scampi for Sunday dinner without much notice. Sometimes we had a kosher…kitchen and sometimes we didn’t. We would attend services and then skip it for a while. We had multiple Jewish personalities that rotated around regularly. Though I was no longer Orthodox, I sent my daughter to three years of summer long camp run by the community. They baked challah on Fridays, and swam in the heat… >> Read More
“Mom, I don’t believe in God,” my daughter confesses to me in the 10th row of our conservative synagogue on Saturday, six weeks before her bat mitzvah.
We have spent weeks planning the…reception with a Rock 'n' Roll theme. We sent out the invitations, created the website, pored over her dvar-torah remarks, and now she tells me she doesn't believe in God! For the last five years, we've faithfully attended Shabbat services, volunteered on the membership committee, and stocked the food pantry. I sent her to religious school, bat… >> Read More
We are in my garden surrounded by 200-year-old oak trees. My sprouting flower garden is to our right and my ambitious but reluctant vegetable patch, nothing but hopeful seedlings at this point in…April, is just behind us. My beloved hens are huddling in the coop, wisely keeping well away of the running kids. My seder is strictly BYOP: Bring Your Own Pillow. >> Read More