You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Arva Gray Reflects on her Journey as a Jew by Choice

Arva Gray reflects on her journey as a Jew by Choice. She discusses finding Jewish community, bonding through food, and the process of conversion.

Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org
Transcript
I-I went to Rabbi Singer, and, uh--a friend of mine went--and, uh, he said, uh, he'd do it. It would take a year. And so, I got to know him very well. And-and, uh, every week, Lillian and I went. And we had books to read, and I had a lot of questions. And he said, uh, "Well, are you going to stay a Jew if-if you go through this?" And I said, "If I go through it and accept it, yeah. But if I don't accept it, uh, I'm not going to become a Jew." Because, by that time, I was involved with a Jewish community. I'd been on the board of, uh, the Council of Jewish Women. I'd been secretary there. I'd been involved with a Jewish day school that was established, uh, at Temple for, uh, children that had come from, uh, Hol--no, they'd originally come from Holland and so on through China, and then settled in Seattle. And, uh, so I-I was involved. I'd-I had moved into a neighborhood of mostly Jewish people. I used to call it Sephardic Heights Overlooking Fisherman's Wharf, and I got to know the mothers. And that way, we became very good friends. We played Canasta, we played Mahjong, we played Pan, we played Bridge, anything. And mostly, it was a conversation club because, uh, we never gossiped. I think I was a kitchen Jew before I converted, and I certainly knew how to make a [unclear] before I did anything else. It's a spinach soufflé with feta cheese and so it's wonderful with fish and so on. But it's a pretty common Sephardic dish, and, uh, I've always liked to cook, so it was fun. And, uh, it was-it was an interesting group, because we were kind of--I guess I didn't consider myself an outsider. I came into the community and was accepted by a certain group, and then eventually became accepted by the community. I felt fine. I'm home. This is where I belong.

Related content:

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Arva Gray Reflects on her Journey as a Jew by Choice." (Viewed on July 25, 2017) <https://jwa.org/media/arva-gray>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs