I am a 16 (f) full blooded Jew. I was raised reform but my family at large is conservative. I had a Bat Mitzvah, and I am working on trying to get confirmed. I have trouble though. Neither my family nor myself likes the rabbi or community at my synagogue. The rabbi in particular is a terrible person and he has seriously affected my experience as a Jew. I live far away from the synagogue, and though I attended Hebrew school from the ages of 9-14, I don’t feel at all connected with the temple. There’s also a recently surfaced security and safety issue at the temple that I am not going to go into for privacy reasons. My family is busy and pretty indifferent to Shabbat practices and definitely does not want to return to the temple. Anyway, it doesn’t look like I will be returning any time soon.
I didn’t go to sleep away camp in my childhood. It is, honestly, one of the biggest regrets of my life. I feel like I missed out on such an important experience and I often get extremely upset that I can’t really access that part of my faith ever again.
As I am getting older, I am realizing what a huge part my Jewish identity has played in my life and how important it is to me that i take full advantage of it. I celebrate most of the holidays with my family, I read but do not understand Hebrew, and I plan to lead a Jewish life for my entire life.
But How? How can I be more Jewish? How can I learn to understand and speak Hebrew? Are there good independent study resources? How can a Jew who missed out on camp still feel Jewish enough?
tl;dr – relatively experienced Jewish teen looking for ways to connect with her faith and learn to speak Hebrew, unable to attend childhood synagogue, family quite indifferent to religion. Independent study resources optimal.
Thanks, all help appreciated,