My family was not a religious family. We were all raised here in New Orleans going back for a couple of generations. My grandmother was raised in Donaldsonville, Louisiana and actually educated at a convent, which a lot of the Jewish children were in those days. We were very mindful and conscious, as a family, of our Judaism. My family would not have taken it well had my cousin and I not married a Jewish man. We went to temple on the High Holy Days. So there was that feeling, but there was no real observance. Whatever I learned about Judaism I pretty much learned at Sunday school, which was rather sparse. But one thing that I did learn though—because we were in a classic Reform congregation, Temple Sinai—the one thing that I did learn was tikkun olam, repairing the world; that we are here to make it better. And that has stuck with me always.
I still am a classical Reform Jew, still belong to the same temple that we've belonged to for generations, still believe that, for me, the best expression of my Judaism is to make the world a better place. I am not very observant. My children are much more observant than we are. I think that becoming involved in Jewish organizations certainly sharpened my sense of the importance and the value of my Judaism. And going to Israel, of course, changes everyone....I came home, got off the plane, and told my little girls, No more Christmas trees! No more Easter rabbits! We've been back several times, and the identity that we all have with the state of Israel is a strengthening thing to our observance, to our Judaism, to our sense of who we are.
How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography:
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Florence Schornstein on JEWISH VALUES." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.
For a footnote:
Jewish Women's Archive, "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Florence Schornstein on JEWISH VALUES," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.