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by Zazi Pope

Jewsies, Jewosity & Identity

ZaziYom Kippur is that holiest of Jewish Holy Days when Jews atone for their sins. Usually I take the day off from work—arguably a sin in itself, because I’m not sure how Jewish I really am. I wasn’t raised as a Jew. I rarely go to temple. And my attempts to fast usually end at 11:00 a.m. with a cappuccino and biscotti. I didn’t even know I was Jewish until I was well into my 20s, when my mother, Ruth, shared with me the stories of how she had come to learn, also as grown woman, that she was Jewish.

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  • Marcia Fine

    This article fascinated me enough that I bought a subscription to Lilith! I’m exploring hidden Jewish identity in a novel I’m writing and you got to the crux of the issue: self loathing. So many Americans tried to “pass” in the 1950s because of shame, convenience (many places were restricted), jobs and just wanting to blend in. I think you’re brave to explore this in your own family and I’m proud to have you as part of the tribe–in whatever capacity you decide to participate!

    • Zazi Pope

      Thanks for the kind words, Marcia, and best of luck w/ your novel!! Kindest regards, Zazi.