In this second installment, Janis F. shared her take on Jewish identity and community. Janis is a 31 year old bisexual Reform Progressive Jew who lives in San Francisco, CA. She is a married, full time working mom of a 16 month old daughter.

IB of JVoices: What does it mean to you to be Jewish?

Janis:

  • To question/wrestle with God
  • To value family and community
  • To honor and cherish all facets of life – God did not make any part of us sinful or shaneful (heck – there’s even a blessing for using the bathroom and it’s a mitzvah to have sex on the Sabbath!)
  • Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world)
  • Peace
  • Spirituality
  • To be persecuted/stereotyped
  • To be misunderstood
  • To be erroneously associated with the State of Israel
    as it is today
  • To be educated
  • To like food
  • To honor my father
  • To have something to believe in

IB: What makes you feel connected to other Jews?

  • Going to synagogue
  • The Sh’ma
  • Hebrew

IB: What makes you feel disconnected from other Jews?

Janis:

  • Israel – I have very mixed feelings about the subject- neither pro Israel nor pro-Palestininan.
  • The boundaries of the denominations – I tend to have an eclectic view of Judaism that takes bits from everything

IB: What kind of Jewish community do you have, and what kind of Jewish community do you desire?

Janis:

Have:

  • Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, Baby Havurah, Women’s Havurah

Would like to have:

  • Don’t really know…I have much more of one than I have ever had. It feels nice to be supported – especially in regards to families.