So what does it mean to be Jewish? Here are the basics:
- Being Jewish means you’re a member of the tribe. The tribe started with a couple named Abraham and Sarah about 4,000 years ago, it grew over time, and it’s still here today. You can become part of the Jewish tribe in several ways: by being born to a Jewish mother or joining through a series of rituals (called “converting”). You can also marry into the religion and raise your children in the Jewish faith. A large number of families at CJEG have come to Judaism through this route. Whatever the course, taking part in the rituals and customs of Judaism forges a strong connection that we believe forms the identity of being a Jew.
- Judaism is a set of beliefs, practices, and ethics based on the Torah. You can practice Judaism and not be Jewish, and you can be a Jew and not practice Judaism. A little confusing, yes, but ultimately one’s character is formed somewhere, and spirituality is a large part of the equation.
Here at CJEG we believe that every child that attends our school will leave with a sense of Jewish identity and purpose. They will add it to the list of things they identify with, like being a dancer or ballplayer. They will be proud to say they are a Jew.