The High Holy Days can bring up some intense feelings for every Jew. One young man called me with a unique issue around the Holidays – his interfaith parents’ divorce and the subsequent lack of clarity about his status.
My September column (Mixed and Matched) in the J-Weekly addressed his feelings.
Here is his question to me:
My dad is Jewish and my mom converted before they got married. Her conversion was Conservative, but after they divorced my father began to go to an Orthodox shul. I have always known that I’m not seen as really Jewish when I’m at my dad’s synagogue. If my mom had continued to raise me as a Conservative Jew, I think I would have been OK, but she stopped practicing Judaism. So I went back and forth between a secular Christian home and a quasi-Orthodox one. I’m back in the Bay Area now, post-college, and living with my mom. The High Holidays are the worst. My dad wants me to go with him and I want to be Jewish and at shul, but not at his shul. The members are nice to me, but I know how I am perceived. My mom doesn’t do anything Jewish anymore. I want to fit in as a Jew. What should I do?
— Torn Apart
Read the rest of the article on the J-weekly page here.