From a young age, I was taught the importance of practicing Jewish values. I grew up attending a Jewish school, I learned Hebrew to a point where I was nearly fluent, I learned the significance behind all of the Jewish holidays, and I eventually even was taught how to read Torah and actively participate in services. Being immersed in my Jewish environment made me want to become more observant at home. My siblings, who also were attending the same Jewish school, and I convinced my mom to start buying Kosher meat and made sure that we kashered our kitchen during Passover.
Now that I am older and am attending a public school, I know that I was very lucky to have gotten the chance to attend a Jewish school for the majority of my life. I have found that a lot of my Jewish friends don’t actively practice Judaism, and this is partly because they didn’t grow up surrounded in an environment that encouraged the observance of Jewish beliefs, but rather a school that had a Christian majority and they were just one of a few Jews who they knew.
It is vital to embrace Judaism and educate others about the importance of building a connection to our Jewish core beliefs. Even if you don’t attend Jewish or Sunday school, there are still so many ways you can connect with Judaism. It isn’t just about praying and high holidays, it is about the community aspect too. There’s a powerful feeling when our people unite and I believe that anyone who feels that warmth will be eager to stay connected
Gabi Mitchell is a BBG from North Texas Oklahoma and has four siblings.
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