The Barmitzvah That Never Was

By Simon Rocker
August 3, 2009

A rather sad tale of everyday intermarried life from this weekend’s Guardian.

In a first-person piece, Annabel Wright, a self-confessed “non-practising Jew” married to a “lapsed Church of England” husband, recounts how her 12-year-son Marcus became interested in Judaism and wanted to have a barmitzvah.

A friendly Progressive rabbi suggested that she and Marcus join classes at the synagogue but, alas, Annabel eventually found she couldn’t go along with the religious ride. “As time wore on, I realised that if Marcus was to follow the faith, I just couldn’t do it with him,” she said.

The boy gave up his quest, too, realising that he couldn’t do it on his own, while his mother reflected that “organised religion is a club that we simply don’t want to join.”

“Yet I am a Jew,” she wrote, “and fiercely protective of my race. My grandparents survived the Nazi concentration camps and my parents avoided a similar fate by a whisker. Just don’t ask me to get involved in the religious shenanigans.”

Meanwhile, Marcus’s velvet kippah remains in the drawer of his bedside table.



Wed, 08/12/2009 - 12:37

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His mother has just ruined his chance of getting a place in JFS!


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