2 Comments

  1. dan pearlman says

    That is a sad, but great article. A more welcoming community would be a richer and more vibrant one. Richer in humanism and diversity.

  2. Sara says

    Dear Sarah,

    Sorry it’s taken me awhile to respond to this article; the mail takes a really long time to reach me here in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where I live. I don’t know if I’ve read an article in the Bulletin that I could so relate to! If I was to add up my Jewish arithmetic, I’m the same as you: I read Hebrew, I had a Bat-Mitzvah, 50% of my grandparents are Jewish, I never read Anne Frank, but I love klezmer, falafel, and gefilte fish etc. I was very very fortunate to grow up in a loving and open Jewish community in Ottawa where everyone was welcomed, and actually encouraged to participate, celebrate, and enjoy being Jewish (or not Jewish!). Since moving to Iqaluit in 2007, I’ve often had “Jew Days” like you mentioned. I’ve made matzah ball soup in July. I’ve given out my bubbi’s poppyseed cookie recipe to loads of people who won’t bake them for Shabbat. I’ve already decided that I will host a post-Chanukah party here because I’ll be out of town for all 8 days. The only thing I won’t do is make my labour intensive apricot hamentaschen anytime of the year but Purim; now my coworkers know to wait for spring for my triangle cookies. I don’t feel bad for doing these things at the wrong time of the year. In fact, I feel privileged to share my traditions with my friends here. To them, I’m the only Jew (well, one of 5) in town. To me, I’m 100% Jewish, and to anyone else, who cares.

    Fondly, Sara Holzman

    PS> My dad has been bugging me for ages to write a ‘diaspora’ story about what it’s like to be Jewish in Iqaluit. Consider this my first installment!

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