Judaism was so unfamiliar to my son that he was wary of my Hanukkah gift. I felt as though, at such a young age, he was choosing to shun my religion, to identify with Christianity. Of course, if he chooses to identify with either religion later in life, that decision will be his own – but for now, I need to at least give Judaism a fighting chance.
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So how will I talk about these values with my sons amid all the shiny confetti, slick commercials, rousing music, and fun snacks? Simply put, the Super Bowl compromises my Jewish values, and I want to pass those values along to my kids.
What do we teach our children when we seek entertainment in the spectacle of two human beings each trying to maim the other or render her senseless? And yet, should we be surprised? After all, we live in a country where mass murder occurs on a regular basis.
“So, what exactly is your background?”
“Both of your parents aren’t Jewish, are they?”
“Wait, so you’re just like a Jewish Barack Obama!”
Growing up as a half-Black and half-White person who is also Jewish definitely raised some interesting questions
As a mixed-race couple with two young, mixed-race children living in a small community, we see an American Judaism that is ready to be open and responsive to the increasing demographic diversity in our country.
"So, you’re Jewish? Like, full-on Jewish? Like, Drake-Jewish? Funny, you don’t look Jewish.”
These are the types of comments I often hear when interacting with new people.
I get asked a lot if I’m “half.” Often, people are referring to my mixed Caucasian and Asian American heritage, their curiosity sparked by my Korean last name on my Jewish business card or by whatever other seeming tip arises on a given day.
As my kids tell me this joke, I realize my mother's curse has come true: I have children "just like me."
With imported parents and imported children, I'm the native-born pastrami