Yom Kippur, 1965, I was a Navy medical officer stationed aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam.
Growing up on Long Island my family belonged to a 350-family congregation. Each year I happily anticipated the High Holiday services and the sense of belonging I felt when I entered the sanctuary.
Growing up the child of a Jew-by-choice, everything about Judaism was a choice for us. For my mother, Judaism was a gift. She felt very proud to count herself among the Jewish people. She felt blessed to have the opportunity to do Jewish things.
I consider myself a dedicated yet anxious Jewish mom. I’m dedicated because I would like my children to have a Jewish upbringing that connects them to our collective stories, history, and values – and I’m anxious because I’m never quite sure whether I’m accomplishing that goal.