February 18, 2021

My Connection to Judaism in Everyday Life

Tags: 2021, Israel, Strong Women Fellowship, Teen Voice

Lulu is an 11th grader at North Springs High School. She is a Strong Women Fellow and one of JumpSpark’s Amplifying Israel teen fellows.

Whether I am lighting the Shabbat candles, eating chicken soup with matzah balls, participating in a global Jewish youth group like BBYO, or attending a Strong Jewish Women’s Fellowship meeting, there is no doubt that I am connected to my Judaism . Being Jewish is a huge part of my identity and it plays a major role in my daily life. When I wake up in the morning, it’s not like the first thing I think of is being Jewish. But when I come downstairs and see a plate of hamentashens from my neighbor on the counter, I don’t question it. When I get a bowl for my cereal before I go to school, I make sure to get a dairy one and not a meat one. Leaving my house for school, I pass the mezuzah on the door and walk to my car. I don’t even notice the sticker on my windshield for the Jewish Community Center anymore; it is the same one that practically every other Jew in Atlanta also has. 

I used to go to a Jewish day school where all my friends and most of my teachers were Jewish. Now, I attend public school. My closest friends are still Jewish but I am no longer in a bubble where Judaism defines my every day. Everyone at school knows I am Jewish, but it doesn’t seem to phase anyone like I expected it to. I’m not even sure how I expected people to act, but for some reason I believed that my Judaism would really matter to others. I remember one day, my first year of high school, I brought matzah ball soup to school for lunch. I spent the entire lunch period trying to explain to my non-Jewish friends what a matzah ball even is. Wet bread? Mushy dumpling? I didn’t know how to explain it but my non-Jewish friends were interested and it made me laugh trying to explain a traditional food to someone who had never tried it.  It was funny and I enjoyed telling my friends about Jewish traditions. 

After school, I usually go home and I either have tutoring, a ceramics class or a BBYO call. On Fridays, I have Shabbat dinner with my family and sometimes we light the candles on FaceTime with my aunt and Bubbie who are all the way in Canada. Judaism plays out in my everyday life, but it is all I have ever known. And until I wrote this article, I didn’t even realize how much of a role being Jewish really has in my daily life, but I like having something that connects me to others who also share my religion and I also appreciate feeling unique when I am around others who aren’t Jewish. My great-grandparents were Holocaust survivors and, after everything she went through, my great-grandmother’s Jewish pride had a big impact on me. I honestly wouldn’t trade being Jewish for anything. 

Related Stories

My Gap Year Experience
November 23, 2021

My Gap Year Experience

By Sam Feldstein
My gap year experience in Israel so far has been nothing short of the best year of my life. I have explored so much of Israel and so much about myself in just the three short...
Continue Reading
Zalik Foundation Renews Its Commitment To Gap Year Experiences In Israel
November 16, 2021

Zalik Foundation Renews Its Commitment To Gap Year Experiences In Israel

By Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
This article was originally published in Fed5. Read the original article here. If you have a high school senior thinking about a gap year in Israel, JumpSpark has wonderful news! The Zalik Foundation has renewed...
Continue Reading
My First Month In Yokneam
November 8, 2021

My First Month In Yokneam

By Zoe Glickman
Shalom! My name is Zoe, I’m 18 years old, and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I currently live in Yokneam Illit in a communal apartment with six other people and am a Shinshinit, which means I’m...
Continue Reading
The Impact Of A Gap Year In Israel
October 5, 2021

The Impact Of A Gap Year In Israel

By Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
This article was originally published in Fed 5, a publication of The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Read the original article here. Sheryl Korelitz, Director of Gap Year Recruitment for Masa North America, works with...
Continue Reading
Student Activists Honored at Hadassah’s Chesed Awards
September 24, 2021

Student Activists Honored at Hadassah’s Chesed Awards

By Atlanta Jewish Times
This article was originally posted in the Atlanta Jewish Times. Celebrating the best and brightest local teen mensches. On August 1, the 29th Annual Hadassah Greater Atlanta Chesed (Loving Kindness) Student Awards honoring excellence and...
Continue Reading
Planning Early: How I Spent my Senior Year Preparing for my Gap Year
August 16, 2021

Planning Early: How I Spent my Senior Year Preparing for my Gap Year

By Zoe Glickman
When I got to the start of my senior year and the overwhelming question of “what are you doing next year?” became the subject of every conversation between peers, parents, and teachers, something inside of...
Continue Reading