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Going to Discover my Jewish Identity after DNA Results

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Hi everyone!

I apologize for the lengthy post in advance so please bear with me, if you could.

Three days ago, I received my DNA ethnicity results on MyHeritage, which made me realize how much I have been dismissing my Jewish side. I am hoping to seek some advice and help with discovering my Jewish identity. I know that my title may sound banal, and it would be naive of me to think I can just suddenly become a good Jew overnight, but it’s important that I at least try to start.

For context, my mom is 100 percent Ashkenazi Jewish. She was raised to be Jewish, and both my grandparents on her side were buried at a Jewish cemetery. We have always celebrated Jewish holidays, but because I am also first generation Italian on my dad’s side, we celebrated Catholic holidays, too. After taking a DNA test, I discovered that my dad has a lot of Sephardic Jewish DNA, about which I had no idea prior. The results of my DNA test made me realize that my Jewish roots probably go much deeper than I had originally thought.

Growing up, we had a mezuzah on our door, kept a menorah, hid the matzah as a game on Passover, etc., but I always kind of hid my Jewish side as I didn’t want to be different from everyone… Once I got into college, I stopped caring about fitting in and would speak more proudly and openly about my Jewish family. Unfortunately, I haven’t done my due diligence to read the Torah in full, have a bar mitzvah, study Hebrew, etc. I was supposed to do birth right when I was 25, but I ended up moving overseas for a few years before I could. I’m 32 now, and feel like it’s time to discover this side of me.

Soooo… obviously picking up some books would be a good idea, but do you have any advice for me to get started?

Thank you all for reading my long winded soliloquy. 🙂

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