23, 2009, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. *** Soon after my bar mitzvah, just as I was discovering my interest in the opposite sex, I began to be bombarded with information about intermarriage—about how one in every two Jewish people would marry a non-Jew and how more than half of the children of those unions would not be raised Jewish.
But as I fell in love with her, she fell in love with me—and with my Judaism as well.
By the end of the weekend, we were officially dating.
*** Judaism is and always has been at the core of my identity.
She had a great sense of humor, a wonderful smile, and an honesty that I found refreshing.As a child, I grew up in Conservative congregations in Georgia, New Jersey, and Minnesota, was educated in Jewish day schools from kindergarten through fifth grade, and spent most of my childhood summers at Jewish summer camps.As an adult I have written for Jewish newspapers and teach in a synagogue. She would usually say that she was “not an atheist” or that she was a non-practicing Methodist.She was also unbendingly ethical, deeply scholarly, and emotionally supportive—virtues I’d always believed essential in a prospective girlfriend or wife.Since she wasn’t Jewish, though, a relationship with her didn’t seem possible; I thought of her as simply a good friend. I created an online dating profile on e Harmony, hoping that its mystical personality matching system would somehow do the job that I had proven unable to accomplish on my own.I went to a Christmas at her family’s house and it felt less ritualistic than family’s Christmas Eve Chinese-food-and-a-movie tradition.