a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Things to think on’ Category

Travel bLog #6 – The Joys of Jewish Study?

Posted by: erika on: July 21, 2016

***WARNING: BABBLING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AHEAD!!***     I’m in a really weird, intense, intimate, mentally, spiritually, physically exhausted place. Learning Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Gemara, Halacha for 7 hours a day 5 days a week is beyond. The first week at Pardes I found myself on the brink of tears on many occasions. And now, […]

Travel bLog-Entry #3 – Shabbat in Jerusalem

Posted by: erika on: July 9, 2016

My first Shabbat in Jerusalem and I’m alone on purpose. I attended a Minyan at the recommendation of a friend. The room was packed – standing room only. I felt a bit out of place and the Hebrew in the siddur and around me was overwhelming and intimidating. But the רוח ruach, the spirit, of […]

We Should be Working on Jewish Diversity Every Day

Posted by: erika on: June 25, 2016

I was browsing a few shuls in the Seattle/Tacoma area looking for the websites of prayer spaces that I have been in to be added to the Welcoming Synagogues list JMN has been curating for the last several years. As I browsed through some of the local synagogues I personally vetted I and noticed the […]

Go Fund Me?

Posted by: erika on: May 17, 2016

This is the last post I will write about my upcoming learning trip to Israel and my Go Fund Me Campaign. Afterwards, just my own thoughts about life and Judaism and anticipating going back to Israel. So while I have you, assuming you’re still reading, I will take this moment to plead, beg, encourage, ask […]

Jewish Nose

Posted by: erika on: May 16, 2016

Today as I was exiting my commuter bus in Tacoma I noticed a woman who read Jewish to me. She was a white woman with her hair covered. She wore a skirt that reached her mid-calf and opaque tights and flats. The neckline of her shirt covered her collar and the sleeves reached her wrists. […]

George Santayana said that. I don’t know much about George, but I do remember the first time I heard that phrase. It was on a grade school trip, we were at a monument or a park or maybe neither of those places, but I took a picture of the words etched into marble because even […]

Jewish Grieving for a Non-Jewish Relative; Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: July 22, 2015

I woke up suddenly in the wee hours of the morning on March 5, 2014. It wasn’t my alarm that had woken me or my cell phone, which was next to my head and on vibrate. It was a feeling. I believe that if you ask a doula or birth worker, most will tell you […]

What Do I Wear on My Head?-A Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: February 21, 2015

When I was still in the process of converting to Judaism I found Jew in the City and her post about why Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair. The vlog didn’t speak to me. I don’t have a husband and I don’t find hair to be particularly sexual. Yet, I was intrigued and clicked my […]

Who is a Jew of Color?

Posted by: erika on: February 19, 2015

A few years ago I sent out a tweet looking for Jews of Color for a project I wanted to pursue. I got a Twitter response from Elad Nehori, the author of one of my favorite blogs, Pop Chassid. He asked, I think I’m a Jew of Color, am I? And I replied, if you think […]

When I walk in the world I am seen first as black and second as a woman. I don’t necessarily “present” as a lesbian and when I identify myself as a Jew, I’m met with disbelief. Once the shock of being a black, lesbian Jew has settled people feel entitled to my story and want […]


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