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Discovered Jewish Heritage, and Going Rural

Hello. So, like many others, I found out my mom’s side of the family has Jewish heritage. Some faked Christian for safety, some converted. I found out a while ago but life has been crazy so I haven’t delved into much yet, and I’d like some input before I do.

Talking to my mom about it, it was great to hear some of her memories. Like braiding challah with her mom, which she said is how she learned to braid her doll’s hair, lol. She even remembers celebrating shabbat at her maternal great grandma’s house, which is really cool.

Her mom was usually in charge of shabbat and celebrating Jewish holidays at home. When she died, everything stopped. My mom was young when she lost her mother. Either a tween or young teen.

My mom converted to Christianity, which she attributes to an Aunt who converted to Christianity and became a mother figure after her mom passed.

I know who is considered Jewish varies among denominations. I’m uncertain what to do, though, because I won’t be anywhere near any denomination. I’m moving to the middle of nowhere this week.

(The pandemic forced us to sell our home and we are moving to a rural area. The nearest synagogue I found is 100 miles away in another state. We won’t even be in a town! Lol)

My questions are, what is my boundary I shouldn’t cross, or what should I keep my nose out of? I don’t want to culturally appropriate or be otherwise inconsiderate and rude. I though about learning about Shabbat and trying to do that with my mother, because she has fond memories with her mom and that was the last time she celebrated it. BUT, I’m scared to do anything but read.

Would I need paperwork to prove a connection to be allowed to delve further? Who would I show it to? What if I don’t find any? I’ve been picking through family things, but all I found so far are pictures, my great gran’s star of david necklaces, and a prayer book with hebrew in it.

Thank you for reading

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