Conversation With an Elderly Russian Woman on Clement Street

She asked if she could join us on the bench we were sitting on, sipping coffee. We said of course.
  1. "I am Jewish," she informed us. "Are you Jewish?"
  2. "We are!" @evan told her.
  3. "Shabbat Shalom!" I said.
  4. "You are Jewish," she said to Evan, "but she is not." She pointed at me.
  5. "I am!" I insisted.
  6. "No," she said. "You don't look Jewish."
  7. "I had a bat mitzvah!" I said.
  8. "There is no way."
  9. "My last name is Moskowitz!"
  10. "I don't believe it."
  11. "She makes great challah!" Evan told her.
  12. She laughed.
  13. "No. Look at him." She pointed to my bearded, bespectacled, Ashkenazi fiancé. "He is real Jew."
  14. I considered giving her a lecture on the complexity of Jewish identity, but thought better of it.