Jew(ish?)

Elizabeth Ayers

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Conclusion


Dear Readers:

Well, folks, that’s a wrap–it’s the end of the quarter, and the end of my time here at Seattle University. It feels odd to try to conclude a column like this on a topic like Jewish identity; neither in the sense of “ending” nor “complete answer,” I cannot think of a conclusion to the development and intricacies of Jewishness in our pasts, presents, and futures. There are things I wanted to cover that I didn’t get to, and there are also things I did get to that I never planned on, which makes me see the endlessness of Jewish thought, identity, and existences in the world.

As for me, I’m certainly not finished exploring, talking, writing about Jewishness, even though I got my “your student employment is going to end” message last week. I am about two weeks away from both graduation and the completion of my “adult Hebrew school” that I need for conversion. After graduation, I will find a job, an apartment, and a life-after-college in Seattle. After my class at shul ends, I will do 3-6 months of independent study with my rabbi, choose my Hebrew name, go through my beit din, dunk in the mikveh, and pop out a Jew (as my theology professor puts it). Then, maybe I will find and marry my dream queer Jewess, go to graduate school, finish a novel, and then pick up a column about Jewish identity again–probably a much more sophisticated one that isn’t unsure every time it slips in a Yiddish word it heard at Shabbat last week.

I have valued the opportunity to explore questions of identity, accountability, oppression, and, of course, food. I am incredibly thankful to all of the folks who have taken the time to have conversations with me and let me witness the role being Jewish plays in their lives. I hope that the years and quarters to come bring us all many restful Shabbats, many good takes on old tales, and many blessings for our communities.

Kol tuv,

Elizabeth

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