a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

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MLK Day 2017

Posted by: erika on: January 14, 2017

There’s a lot of (completely valid) talk going on about this week’s black-ish episode regarding drumpf and black folks’ response. Anthony Anderson’s monologue was powerful and, unlike everything else this week, it didn’t bring immediate tears to my eyes. Instead I felt my mother come through my body and out of my mouth and I said […]

Just an FYI

Posted by: erika on: December 8, 2016

Talking about, pointing out, shedding light on, calling out, being honest about the over 1000 new and rising instances of racism, antiSemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia in this country since Drumpf’s election doesn’t make ME a racist or a hateful person. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it all day every damn day until the […]

The Vlog is Back!

Posted by: erika on: February 14, 2015

In this vlog I ask the questions: How is too much diversity a bag thing? Also, do you know a literary agent.  

Shabbat in NYC-MLK Service

Posted by: erika on: January 9, 2015

I’m so excited to be returning to the congregation I converted at for MLK Shabbat next Erev Shabbat! If you’re in the NYC Area, it would be amazing to see your smiling and supportive faces at Congregation Rodeph Sholom  I’m actually really, really nervous. I studied speech and theater in high school and took some […]

A Rabbi Returns Home as Eyewitness to Ferguson: A Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: October 24, 2014

This was written by Sarah Barasch-Hagans, a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, is a rabbinic intern at T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights for The Jewish Exponent Why did I go to Ferguson? I went as a rabbinical student, as someone raised in St. Louis and as someone in a multiracial family. But mostly […]

A Woman of Valor Who Can Find?

Posted by: erika on: June 1, 2014

Julie Geller’s version of Eishet Chayil is still my absolute favorite version of this ancient song traditionally sung by a husband (and sometimes children) to his wife to honor her role in the house. Because it comes from Torah verses, to say that it’s a bit archaic is putting it lightly. And while I absolutely […]

“You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot — it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that, I try to make sure my experiences are positive.” — Maya Angelou My first experience of Maya Angelou, who died this week at the age of 86, […]


Posted by: erika on: March 17, 2014

On Thursday, March 6th my only sibling, my younger sister passed away. She was 31 years old. She leaves behind her three little boys, our parents and me, her big sister. We had a memorial service for her on the Sunday directly following her death, which was inline with Jewish tradition of burial in 3 […]

I was completely unable to focus on my game of Tetris, instead felt hyper-aware of all of the brown people on the train. The 2 Train is an interesting train. In fact, according to Buzzfeed, it’s the 8th  best train in all of NYC. Most people get on and off between 14th street and 72nd […]

Now it’s Time to Say Goodbye…

Posted by: erika on: December 5, 2013

…well at least for now. Yes, it’s true, I’m going to put a halt on the site. It’s been an amazing experience writing and connecting with so many Jews from around the globe. I have truly enjoyed meeting such amazing people. I’ve loved sharing my conversion process with all of you and processing your conversion processes […]

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Candle Lighting Times


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