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Real People, Real Stories

 Each person has their own story, their own experience of being Jewish, their own journey through life.
 Each of the stories in this section is unique, representing one facet of the complex multicultural diverse contemporary
 Jewish landscape. Read the stories of others and consider sharing your own here.

Sula Gordon


My wife Jane and I had the honor and privilege of standing on the bimah to participate in the ceremony of our daughter reading her Torah portion, Ha’azinu, as a Bat Mitzvah.
Read on...


 


Maria Ramos-Chertok


“I’m Cuban. I’m Jewish. I’m Cuban. I’m Jewish?” That was more or less the monologue in the mind of Maria Ramos-Chertok growing up in New Jersey as the child of a Catholic Cuban immigrant father and an American Jewish mother Read on...


 


Alysha Beyer


We live in Phnom Penh Cambodia. My husband and daughter Ndashi are both African, but Ndashi has gone to international schools her whole life so she speaks with an American accent and culturally seems more American. Ndashi is right at home in an intercultural environment, that is all she knows, but jewish community is new to her. Read on...

 


Aviv Hogan Appell


I am in many ways what he spoke about in his “I Have a Dream Speech.” I am African American, I am Jewish, and I have 2 white dads. I am America in 2012. Read on...




 


Shirley Price


I was born in Nürnberg Germany. My mutti and I eventually moved to Ansbach where at the age of three I would be given up for adoption. As with so many other German Brown Babies, I was adopted by an African American military couple stationed in Germany.
Read on...





 


Sean Aaron


Jewishness is as close to a "national identity" as I have. Although I became a naturalised citizen of the UK and have a strong affection for Scotland, being Jewish is my identity beyond the citizenship of any nation. Read on...



 


Caryn Baird

Shavuot Talk

The fundamental truth is, regardless of whether I am perceived by others as black or white, either way I am Jewish. My mother was a Jew, I am a Jew. Whether on any given day, I choose to identify as white or biracial or black, I am still a Jew.
Read on...

 

Re’eh, which means “To Behold” or “See”

Caryn Baird, a news researcher with the St. Petersburg Times, presents the text of her sermons offering her unique perspective on life as a biracial Jew. Read on...



 

Avery Klein-Cloud


Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary Off and Running, brooklyn teen Avery Klein-Cloud is the African-American adoptive daughter of white Jewish lesbians.
Read on...



 

Erika Davis


There’s a YouTube Video called Jew Walking that was posted three years ago outside of the JCC in Manhattan’s Upper West Side that got me thinking. It was not surprising to me that the youngest person question, a girl over Bat Mitzvah age was able to answer the most correctly. If I were to be stopped outside the JCC I could confidently answer nearly all of the questions. Why? Because I’m a New Jew. Read on...

Erika Davis interviewed on "All Things Gay"



 

Patrick Labbe


I was born to a Jewish father and Catholic mother. My father never married my mother and my mother gave me up for adoption in infancy (she was 15 years old and that was in 1957). I was raised by wonderful adoptive parents as Catholic. Later in life I connected with my mother and heard the "rest of the story". Read on...



Juan Mejia


Rabbi Juan Mejía was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1977. When he was 15, he discovered his converso roots and began to explore the history of the secret Jews of Latin America. He writes about his first Chanukah and the meaningful gift of an antique menorah. Read on...




Collier Meyerson


Since I was a young girl, it is not Yom Kippur or Roshashanna that makes me tingle inside with reminders of my youth, but Chanukah. Read on...


Reflections on off and running

When I first saw Off and Running I was immediately taken, but then again, my own personal investment in the film’s subject matter was considerable. Read on...



 


Victoria Washington


Victoria Washington, a defense attorney working solely on death penalty cases, and her partner are raising three girls in an interfaith family. Victoria believes in the concept of Tikkun Olam and shares her thoughts about the High Holidays. Read on...