My dad drove by a freshly salted street in a Cleveland suburb lined with lawns covered in snow.
I can’t remember where we were going. I was probably around eight years old. But our conversation has become a vivid memory.
The lawns glittered with white, green, and red Christmas lights. Some had blow-ups of famous cartoons dressed for the holiday. One featured a miniature cardboard train with moving wheels and twinkle lights.
“Where are the Hannukah lights?” I asked.
“People don’t make a lot of yard decorations for Hannukah,” he said.
But the yards were gorgeous. I wanted to join in on the fun.
“Why?” I asked.
“Companies just don’t,” he said.
“Why?” I asked again. That went on for a while.
Now that I’m older, I think my dad was just trying to avoid hanging lights in Cleveland’s frigid winter temperatures. We always found ways to include Hannukah decorations inside our house during the holidays.
I grew up in an interfaith household. Mom grew up Christian, so we always had a Christmas tree and went to my grandparents’ house for Christmas and Easter. Dad grew up Jewish, and my parents decided that would be the predominant religion in our house. So, we put white and blue lights on our pine tree every year and placed our Menorah right next to it.
As I begin as jHUB’s Communications and Project Manager, I realize this story offers a glimpse into how my Jewish interfaith upbringing helped shape who I am today.
Throughout school, college, and my professional life so far, I’ve swapped stories with a handful of people who had similar childhoods. I’ve also shared how my family merged cultures with people just beginning to enter Judaism interfaith lifestyles.
Through those conversations, I grasped there are many ways to live a Jewish life. I was thrilled to learn jHUB has dedicated itself to helping interfaith couples and families personalize their own Jewish life. I wanted to be part of that team.
So, here I am!
Before joining the jHUB team in August, I worked as a government reporter for newspapers in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Kentucky. When I’m not writing, I enjoy hiking and cooking.
Since I started this new job, I’ve been busy meeting jHUB couples, families and sharing our work on Instagram. If you’ve seen someone dancing or lipsynching on Instagram reels wearing a jHUB T-shirt, that was me.
Beyond making sure you know about our events, social media management, and Honeymoon Israel trip coordination, I’ll tell our stories here on the jHUB website. You’ll find blogs about identity, jHUB values, personal Jewish interfaith experiences, and more. If you have a question about interfaith life and would like to see it explored in a blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.