Meet Gina Gory from Richardson, Texas
"The Mothers Circle is so needed in our area. As a former-Catholic-now-Jewish mother, I can relate to the lighting of the Shabbos candles. When my seven-year-old daughter and I go camping with the Girl Scouts, I bring our travel Shabbat set and light our candles, just the two of us. Friday night and lighting the candles is just engrained in our family now. It is an out-of-body experience, especially when you're out under the stars!
A few years ago, I would be out the door on the way to my ladies' Bunco night with my bacon-wrapped shrimp on Friday evenings. One night, as I was leaving, I sat in my car and cried... I left my then-two-year-old with her dad, and watched as an outsider as they lit the candles, said the blessings, and ate the store-bought challah. She was so cute covering her eyes. As I watched my husband's big hands cup my little one's hands over the candles, I just knew I had to learn more about Judaism. I had to learn what she was being taught in preschool. I had to learn Torah. I had to learn the customs, prayers, history, culture... life as a Jew. This was going to be my life now, and I wanted to be a part of the mishpacha! I really didn't have to, I wanted to.
I still have a Catholic family; I still have a past that doesn't include Judaism; I still have "family sitautions" that come up during the holidays. I have to remind people, and myself, that it's up to me to create Jewish memories for my only child. Sometimes I need a little help. I wasn't raised Jewish, so culturally there's a lot to be aware of and learn.
I think my daughter has the best of both worlds. She has history from my Hispanic Catholic side of the family, and she has history from her Eastern European Jewish side of the family. Believe it or not, there are many similarities between these two cultures. I just got back from shul (Hebrew for "synagogue"), where I spent a few hours preparing for the High Holidays. In our synagogue, there are many, many interfaith families. There are many, many non-Jewish women volunteering countless hours, performing behind-the-scenes preparations for so many events, it's unbelievable. I love it! Our rabbi at Congregation Beth Torah lives it too.
I love The Mothers Circle... and I love seeing the wonderful mothers (and one father) every Tuesday around the tables eager to learn more about Judaism."
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