Austin, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

Why I Need to Meet More Jews

21 Comments 13 February 2013

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I need to meet more Jews.

I came to this conclusion last week after talking to a Jew.

They’re somewhat elusive here in Austin, so anytime I come across one it’s a big freakin’ deal.

Why is it such a big deal?

Because I’m Jewish.

Because when I come across another M.O.B. (Member of the Tribe- a phrase a fellow Jew shared with me), the world and my life finally make sense.

Let me be clear: like many religion-challenged Jews, I’m non-practicing.

My grandmother was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household. At a certain turning point she was like “fffff this shit” and turned her back on the religion. She raised my mother in the Whatever faith, who subsequently raised me similarly. Needless to say religion has never been the terrifying and guiding light in our lives. All my close family members call themselves “spiritual” and shoot the shit with God in their own ways.

Though we didn’t go to temple and because the faith ran down my mother’s bloodline, the Jewy-ness of my family has never quite disappeared. My family acted and behaved a certain way, a way I didn’t realize until much later, until I met other Jews, that was synonymous with the heritage. YES, I’M TALKING ABOUT GUILT TRIPS AND OVER-THINKING AND TALKING REALLY ANIMATEDLY AND WORRYING- OH GOD! THE WORRYING!- AND ALL THOSE OTHER WONDERFUL CLICHES YOU CAN THINK OF.

You see, this is why I like meeting other Jews. I can spot a Jew before they even tell me their faith due to their breathless excitement, their open-mindedness, their humor and the way they worry about if what they just said offended you or someone not even part of the conversation. They’re nervous and confident simultaneously, and interesting as all hell; a whirlwind of intrigue, mysticism and dare I say, excellent fashion sense.

They have an electricity, one that I can instantly feel- a brother or sisterhood is there.

This is why I need to meet more Jews.

They’re my people.

We’re all members of the same tribe.

So, last week I took the first step of meeting others and reclaiming my Jewish heritage: I joined a young Jewish professional Facebook networking group.

Because that’s the same as going to temple, right?

Next step: Join the JCC- Jewish Community Association of Austin. They have a 4,000 square foot gym with pool and free wi-fi and a film festival and everything!


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Your Comments

21 Comments so far

  1. Great post – wonderfully and thoughtfully written as always.

    People have always called me prolific, as a writer. But then I look at your writing and I’m just blown away. Where does it all come from? You’re amazing.

  2. brent says:

    Bwahahahaa! This is too funny. I don’t know if it’s my own ego, or today’s “jew obsessed” culture… but I feel the same way!

    I’ll watch an actor (most often an actress) in a movie or meet someone and I always get this ‘vibe’ that tells me they’re of Jewish decent. AND I WANT TO KNOW THEM!

    I think it’s in the blood. Jews simply like Jews.

    But I’m not joining facebook.

  3. Jodi says:

    Hi Lauren – While there aren’t many Jewish people in Austin, I seem to find them like a moth to flame! I think it’s actually because there aren’t many, so there is more of a longing to connect with people that are Jewish as opposed to say, in NYC, where I moved from, where so many people are. I’d love to meet up sometime and chat about blogging and Jewy-ness.

  4. Dana Epstein says:

    I can help you meet more Jews :) Be in touch!

  5. Ivan Toblog says:

    For a minute I thought you were getting the Jews and the Irish mixed up

    Except the Irish don’t seem to worry about if they just offended you.

  6. grace b says:

    I recently saw The Jewish Mom/The Asian Mom at the Salvage Vanguard Theater. You would probably really like it. It was very entertaining and honest.

  7. Carol says:

    I’m not Jewish, but my friend’s mom, who is, says I should be Jewish, and will always be Jewish in her mind. Does that count?

  8. I agree with Jodi- I feel more connected to Judaism in Austin than NYC. Maybe because we are a dime a dozen in the city and you take it for granted, but special here!

  9. Edwin R says:

    I recently took a cheek swab genetics test, and I found out something interesting about Jews. We are an endogamous group, meaning there were not many of us in Europe centuries ago, which means we inmarried, so the Jewish community of today in the US is closely related, so much so, that I received pages and pages of results from my test indicating 2nd and 3rd cousins when I know these people were not a direct part of my family. But since we are endogamous we do have surprisingly close blood ties. At least I was surprised.

  10. Benny says:

    I would totally feel the same if I were in Austin!
    In NY, they’re just everywhere…

  11. Gaby says:

    I just came across this.. to be honest, I used to read your blog a lot more in my younger days but I was reading something you posted about feeling idle and then I started roaming around your page, and here I am. I’m Jewish and I don’t spend that much time with the Jewish community here… not on purpose or anything, it’s just how lives work out and such. But I have started to feel similarly, especially because I was a Jew who was completely SURROUNDED by fellow Jews I was basically in a huge bubble until after I graduated college. I’m curious about how its going for you? My mom wants me to have Jewish friends in Austin, oy!

  12. Pam says:

    I just found this by googling Austin “where are the Jews”! Even more difficult: where are all the Jews who married a nice Catholic? WE CANNOT BE THE ONLY ONES HERE. It’s the classic combo!

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