No one wants to see their hometown in the news for unsavory reasons. But I was not shocked when I learned that my hometown, Newnan, Georgia — a small city near Atlanta — would…host a neo-Nazi rally. Instead, I was shocked that so many Newnan folks were shocked. As the white supremacists — mostly from out-of-town — prepared to gather in Newnan last weekend, there were public declarations from the city’s residents and leaders that the hatred exemplified by the neo-Nazis was not welcome. And yet, as the two… >> Read More
My first real exposure to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was when I was dating Matt, my future husband. I didn’t really know what observing these holidays entailed. He wasn’t flying home to visit…family during that time, and as he was working and living in my small Northern California hometown, he reached out to a synagogue in Sacramento (the nearest “big city”) to find services and a group of people to join for Rosh Hashanah dinner. The following week he fasted, and I met up with him briefly… >> Read More
Years ago, my Catholic husband decided he wanted to convert to Judaism. At the time, we’d only been married a few years, and my family belonged to a reform synagogue. My husband signed up for and…attended the conversion classes, and over a six-month period he studied history, holidays, religious teachings, and even a little Hebrew. It was an involved process that he was deeply committed to completing. The final piece was his appearance before a panel of rabbis. They asked him questions designed to determine whether or not he would… >> Read More
A couple of months ago we were seated around a friend’s Shabbat dinner table when my 4-year-old pointed to platter of kugel and asked, “What is that?” I grinned, and laughed at the other…guests’ amusement that my Jewish child did not know what kugel was. To me, it was actually a point of pride. Around ten years ago when I converted to Judaism, I made a promise to myself not to cook “Jewish” food. You see, along with my decision to convert came the decision to keep kosher.… >> Read More
Recently, I accidentally did a favor for a white supremacist. It could have been a totally forgettable favor, but I’m still thinking about it now.
It began when I went for a coffee run with my…toddler. As I was pulling out of the parking lot, I saw an opening before a long line of traffic. I was about to go for it, but I saw a man hobble past. Even though I could have made it without cutting him off, I felt an uncharacteristic wave of patience wash over me… >> Read More