Printed from

Relinked after 4 generations

Friday, 14 September, 2012 - 4:18 pm

 Dear friends,

I have been contacted this week by a Jewish community organizer in Comox, writing to me "I have been corresponding with and meeting a young woman who wishes to convert to Judaism. While I can provide for her many links to study, information, education and things to consider.. there is nothing like the contact with a full Jewish community... May I connect her with you for further assistance?

The next morning I received an email from Vanessa, "I don't know exactly what you want to know, so I will tell you a little about me and my journey. When I was a teen, I discovered my family has Jewish roots. I have always been ambivalent about committing to a religion, but have always sought to maintain a relationship with G-d. Recently, I have found myself drawn to my Jewish roots, learning about them and Judaism in general. I have two small children, so I have the added burden (or blessing?) of providing them with a relationship to G-d. My family is Christian, and while I have no problem with it personally, I feel moved, compelled and inexplicably drawn to Judaism".

A quick correspondence with Vanessa had discovered that her great-great grandparents, her mother’s mother's mother’s parents were Jewish. Minutes later I was on the phone with Vanessa "I would like to tell you that you have no reason to convert; you are 100% Jewish, no less than Moses...; according to Jewish law only the maternal side matters to define the Jewishness of a child, and being that your maternal great grandmother was Jewish - you are as Jewish as could be!"

The excitement on the other side of the phone was evident. "My grandmother will be so thrilled that I'm reclaiming her faith" she said, "your faith", I corrected.

Next month when we will be visiting Comox with the Sukkah mobile – there will be three new customers, a mother and her two children. The 5th generation will be celebrating Sukkot once again.

Comments on: Relinked after 4 generations

Elisabeth Gelb wrote...

Dear Rabbi,
How life altering for this young woman when you revealed that she indeed Jewish. The impact of your presence on the island is immeasurable. Shabbat Shalom.

Brad fisher wrote...

Nice story!

Vanessa wrote...

Thank you, Rabbi Kaplan for sharing my story. I am grateful to you and look forward to meeting with you. L'shanah tovah!

Fiona Prince wrote...

L'Shana Tovah Vanessa!
What a wonderful way to reconnect. I just shared your story with my mother! My great-grandmother left Lithuania to escape the pogroms in the mid 1800s and settled in Britain. We emigrated to Canada when I was 5 years old. I came to Victoria for University in 1979 and have been here permanently since 1987. I look forward to talking with you soon.
Fiona Prince (aka Morah Faiga)

Vanessa Horwood wrote...

Hello, Fiona! Your story sounds somewhat similar. I look forward to meeting with you as well. It will be great to connect with some like minds. You are coming to Sukkot in Comox? Thanks for reaching out! Shalom!