Trump-Era Antisemitism Changed My Family – We Started Going to Synagogue
Religion was never a big part of my life. But when a JCC near my home was targeted in a bomb threat, practicing Judaism felt like a crucial act of resistance.
Illustrations by Will Dinski
I held my toddler’s hand as I walked her into a synagogue for the very first time, her father and infant sister following behind us. With every concrete step almost as tall as her little legs, climbing each one felt like a monumental accomplishment for her, even with my help.
We entered the narrow room full of Rachels and Sarahs, were introduced to Eli and Abraham, and found an empty carpet square to sit on, claiming our place in the circle. With my daughters in my lap and my husband to my left, the familiar words began, and the songs and prayers of my childhood filled the room. “Shabbat shalom, hey!” sang the room in chorus. I watched my daughter look around in wonder. My usually shy child didn’t look nervous, the way I’ve come to expect she will in new situations. She soaked it all in, a smile spreading across her face.
The rabbi handed my toddler a wooden replica of a Shabbat candlestick and she clutched it in her small fingers. At the end of the song, she…