A lot is awry at the moment: political violence in America, white nationalists in the streets, and a general feeling of unease as 5783 kicks off with a renewed sense of dread and antisemitism. A recap of October.
004: Mom, Dad: I’m Jewish. Ish. TBD. NBD.
After my first two classes at AJU I began telling my family about my newfound fascination with Jewishness. I was deeply identifying with it, had quickly realized I wanted to convert, and also: Had never spoken of Judaism with most of the people I knew. It was that buried in my subconscious from 20 years ago.
I’d recently been talking to my family quite a bit, in fact, about life, life changes, and next steps. I’m on the eve of a landmark birthday, had just moved, shut down my Silver Lake business front, and was generally in transition.
Prior to that, I’d left LA in 2017 to move to Barcelona for a spell. Even then the mediterranean called to me; I now realize maybe I was exploring the wrong end of it!
On the phone with my mom one August morning I remarked that I’m taking a new class and really enjoying it. She asked if I was converting and was very excited about it. She had nearly married a Jewish guy whose parents had asked her to convert, prior to meeting my dad. Her exact words: I’ve always wanted a Jew in the family! (She texted me later: You should be a rabbi! Woah, slow down).
My mom seems Jewish to me in various senses. She probably knows as little about it as I did until recently, but based on my upbringing and her worldview, I think it could be a match.
I sent her my reading list and we’ll see where that lands with her and my dad. At the very least I have a supportive family and I’m very grateful.
This felt so much like coming out to my family, which was 21 years ago. I shared that with my class at the next meeting and they got a kick out of it, but it’s true. It felt weird and scary, but in the end, I was accepted by my family and by everyone I’ve spoken to.