GROWING UP AS A REFORM JEWISH GIRL IN ST. PAUL

c. 1950 and thereafter
  1. We ate bread all week long during Passover
    God forbid my mother would make popovers. This was particularly bad as I was the only one of my Jewish friends who bought the school lunches during the holiday.
  2. My mother read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas to my sisters and I on Christmas Eve.
    We left cookies and hot chocolate in the living room next to the fireplace and it was all gone in the morning. There were 3 piles of gifts from our Pittsburgh relatives, no daily Hannukah gifts for us.
  3. We only went to services on high holy days.
    And to the late services because they were shorter and we could eat dinner first.
  4. In our house what you wore to temple trumped the religious aspects.
    Therefore, I did a lot of lip synching of the prayers and the songs
  5. We weren't religious although I was rigorously guided by my parents to date nice Jewish boys.
    Most of them were either nerds or schmucks. The boy I found to marry too young ended up to be a supreme schmuck and it was a disaster that lasted a few short years. The second marriage to the goy has been a good match of 37 years.
  6. I feel much more culturally Jewish as I get older and more appreciative of our traditions and history.
    I still cry when I recall my visit to Dachau on my 40th birthday and standing at the entrance amazed that I would be walking in and out as a free Jewish woman from the US.
  7. I was the nice Jewish daughter of the doctor who everyone loved so I really got away with a lot.
    My friends would use me as cover when we set out to be bad girls which was quite often. "But Mom, Dr. Strems daughter is going" etc etc. it always worked.
  8. Now we have so many couple friends in Sanibel who are hybrids that my annual Hanukah party has been dubbed "BYOJ" or bring your own Jew.
    @bobe @dev @halley
  9. Never heard or spoke a word of Yiddish in my home, but plenty of it in my friends homes
  10. How do I prove my Jewish bona fides?
    The best kugel on the island and 2 good books: How to raise a Jewish dog and Just say Nu. And my husband David is 1/4 Jewish which was good enough for my parents.
  11. When the rabbi who agreed to marry us asked David if he would convert, David said....
    Well, isn't that a lot like asking me to become a Puerto Rican? What's not to like