I am the product of an interfaith couple. My mom’s family is Christian and my dad a secular Jew. I don’t speak to my dad anymore because he was abusive, but the last couple years I have finally been able to learn about Judaism which was always my calling since I was a child (my dad simply didn’t have the education to teach me much). I converted to get a religious education and make my halachic status official and I am very happy to be not just Jew-ish but the Jew I have always wanted to be!
But I am the only one. My dad got into Judaism when he raised me, so I knew where I came from, but has since become a Christian. His sister married a Catholic and converted to Catholicism. My grandma told me last week that none of our Jewish relatives are alive anymore, not even my great uncles. I guess I just assumed they were back east, like they always have been.
I have a very loving adoptive dad who I have known several years now, who is a Jew and helped me learn many of the things I wasn’t taught as a child. He’s my real dad if I have one and one of the best things in my life.
I am so grateful that I am able to pick up the torch, make up for the lost generation, and preserve my family’s Judaism. I am so grateful for my community at shul and for my adoptive father. But sometimes it feels so lonely being the one Jew left with my blood, and sometimes the responsibility of being the only one to pass this on feels terribly heavy. Thousands of years of my family’s history possibly ending with me despite my fight to regain it. Sometimes I feel like a lone Jew. A Jew on an island.
Your family might be annoying, or weird to you, but they are your own blood and they are your people. Please cherish them and hug them, and be grateful you have them.