My grandmother converted to Catholicism in order to marry my grandfather. Everyone in my matriline was a practicing Ashkenazim Jew up to that point, with my great grandmother speaking an English/Yiddish hybrid. I remember her very fondly, but she passed when I was 7. Lately I’ve been feeling as if I’ve been called to return to Judaism, which I’ve been exploring. The problem is that I’m not particularly religious and I don’t know if it’s considered disrespectful to explore that part of my history and observe the lifestyle without believing in a god.
I would love to attend synagogue, but I’m from a small town in Alabama so I would have to travel quite far. This isn’t a problem within itself, but I also feel like I would be entering class right before the final exam (so to speak.) I haven’t exactly been exposed to a lot of Judaism throughout my life, but I’m very very interested in learning the customs of my family and what I would have been, had my grandmother not converted.
Any advice is appreciated, but mostly I’m just looking for some answers on how to do this respectfully or if it’s something that can even be done respectfully. I would also very much appreciate for someone to point me in the right direction of how to go about this if it something that can be done.