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Catholic and Christian upbringing, hidden from Jewish roots.

Hey everyone.

I’ve had such an amazing time being a part of this subreddit. It feels a little like home, getting to read articles and comments. You all are wonderful people.

I wanted to ask to see who else has been in a similar situation and where to go from here.

My mom, bless her soul, was a devout catholic who became an explorer of religions. She was a teacher and highly educated. I was baptized catholic, attended catholic school, and was an alter boy before I went with her to all different types of Christian churches and denominations. She passed from terminal cancer when I was 15.

I did a DNA test and mapped out our genealogy after she passed away. Her brother, my uncle, confirmed what I found out – he and my mom were raised Jewish. Her parents, grandparents, everyone in her family I’d met only as a child were Jews. All my great grandparents were Russian Jews and immigrants from the Pale of Settlement.

I’ve spent a long time unpacking why my mom left Judaism and was an incredibly devout Christian until the very end. Thanks to someone’s recommendation on a separate post, I read Turbulent Souls by Stephen Dubner. It was an amazing book and it really resonated with me in how he came to terms with his and his mothers past.

Has anyone else undergone a similar transformation or journey in rediscovering their Jewish heritage and religion? I’m also confused as to my own identity. Having a Jewish mother is undoubtedly key in identifying as Jewish, but what if your mother essentially renounced Judaism?

I also feel some element of imposter syndrome. I wasn’t raised this way. I don’t speak Yiddish or Hebrew (but I do understand a fair bit of Yiddish thanks to German.) I don’t know the first thing about Judaism aside from a Judaism for dummies book I bought. Lol. How do you start reconnecting with a religion you’re supposed to be a part of without feeling like an outsider?

Would love to hear from anyone who’s keen to share. Thanks in advance.

submitted by /u/kennyyymarshall
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