An Open Letter To My Big Gay, Orthodox, Atheist, Adopted, Converted Jewish Family


Dearest Family,

Let’s begin by stating the obvious. We are not from yichus (noble pedigree). Well, maybe generations ago we were but my short memory only goes back so far. Some of us are gay. Some of us are adopted. Some of us are recovering addicts. Some of us struggle with mental illness. Some of us eat ham on Yom Kippur. Some of us are orthodox Jews.

While this letter may feel random, for me, the timing is perfect. An old mentor once advised me to always look for points of connection between myself and other Jews. I try to follow her advice but lately the articles on my blog have focused on our differences.

To my wonderful, beautiful, put-the-fun-back-in-dysfunctional family: I do not choose to see you for what makes us different. I choose not to see myself for what makes me different either. Rather, I choose to see (or I aspire to see) us as different colors of a rainbow all knitted together, radiant. I’m so proud to be related to you.

To my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins once removed, and grandmother-in-law: I love you. To my husband’s younger sister and brother who I haven’t spoken to in ages but think of often: I love you. To my husband’s older sister, husband, and kids who I know I can call when times are rough: I love you. To my vivacious mother-in-law who worries about our financial security incessantly: I love you. To my most protective, supportive parents and my turn-the-town-upside-down sister: I love you. To my beautiful children who make me happy when skies are gray: I love you. To my husband, best friend, soul-mate: There are no words.

I hope you don’t find me sentimental or trite. Life is short and I need to speak quickly. Let’s spend 2014 strengthening our ties. Let’s look at one another with new, bright, clear eyes. Let’s keep the petty stuff and important stuff where they belong. Let’s do this for ourselves, each other, Jews the world over, and humanity. This is my prayer for us and families everywhere- to be conscious of this in the smallest moments of daily life.

May we all be blessed,



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