Posted on May 1, 2018 by Amy Rubin
To my future grandchildren,
I don’t know you yet. You haven’t been born or conceived; your mothers aren’t even in serious relationships! Yet I think of you. I wonder what you will know of me, whether we will share our holidays, whether you will think of yourself as Jewish. I deeply hope so.
There’s a story that goes with my Jewish identity. A story worth telling. I was raised culturally Christian but had a strong interest in learning what other people believed. In college, I studied religions and grew interested in Judaism. When I joined my Jewish boyfriend (your grandfather) at his family’s home for Chanukah, I surprised my future in-laws by knowing that there were three blessings to recite on the first night.
Later, after your grandfather and I married, I began to be interested in Judaism for me, not just as a subject of academic study. We searched for a Reform synagogue and found Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough. I enrolled in an Introduction to Judaism course that led to my conversion. I got very involved in the synagogue. I grew more comfortable with the holidays and even adopted a modest form of Kashrut. From my teenage curiosity about what other people believe to a full embrace of Judaism that could be mine as an adult, I chose to lead a Jewish life, one with meaning and purpose.
I was blessed to be part of two communities and have made a legacy commitment to each. Temple Beth-El, ever close to my heart, nurtured my Jewish soul; The Jewish Center of Princeton, where I worked briefly, engaged my Jewish mind. I would not be the Jew I am without both of them.
So… my loves, some day you will walk this earth and you will learn about your Jewish heritage and identity. I hope my story of embracing Judaism will inspire you. I hope you will choose to lead a meaningful and joyous Jewish life with the support of a wonderful community (or two).
All my love,
Originally published in the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer’s quarterly newsletter. Reprinted with permission in the May-June 2018 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.