Article Discussion: Dear Alma Mater

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This topic has 3 voices, contains 3 replies, and was last updated by  Robin Margolis 1716 days ago.

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November 4, 2009 at 5:00 am #3997

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Click here to read the article: Dear Alma Mater

November 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm #3999

Debbie B.

There is nothing wrong with the fact that you were brought up as a Catholic. People who don’t know that you weren’t always Jewish may think it strange if you wear your college sweatshirt (so you might provoke strange reactions), but there is no reason that you should feel that you need to hide that you went to a Catholic college. And I think you should contribute to your high school if you wish. People contribute money to many causes that they themselves are not a part of. And in this case you *are* an alumna and you clearly feel that the school provided a good experience for you. All your fond memories of your Christian past do not negate your current Jewish identity—and they are still a part of who you are.

If you are still sometimes worried that your feelings are “inappropriate”, you should discuss it with your rabbi. I expect that your rabbi would reassure you that it is OK to have these feelings. I understand your reluctance—I felt a little embarrassed when discussing some aspects of my past to my sponsoring rabbi when I was studying for conversion. However, my rabbi is extremely empathetic and I have always felt better after talking to him about my concerns about many different topics.

November 4, 2009 at 9:36 pm #4000

Debbie B.

I’d like to add that there are Jews by Birth who attend Catholic colleges too. An observant JBB woman in my minyan got her masters degree at Loyola University in Chicago. And there are clearly a number of Jews who attend Loyola because Loyola has its own Hillel. Conversely, there are are non-Jewish students who attend List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary. So I think you should wear your college sweatshirt with pride.

November 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm #4022

Robin Margolis

Dear Paula: I’m with Debbie B. on this one.

I was raised Episcopalian (my dad’s faith) and switched over to my mother’s Judaism as an adult.

I cherish the memories of my Episcopalian childhood and adulthood.

I think in some Jewish circles there is a bit of pressure to disown our pasts, but they are part of us.

I would contribute money to your alumni fund — you have fond memories of them.

Cordially,
Robin Margolis
http://www.half-jewish.net
http://www.inclusivistjudaism.wordpress.com

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