The paradox of feeling too Jewish — and not Jewish enough

For the first time in my life, I feel insufficiently Jewish. But I'll gladly take that over the alternative.

A Jewish woman is treated differently in New York than in London.
(Image credit: Godong / Alamy Stock Photo)

I'm a British Jew from a family of left-leaning Semitic atheists who celebrate Christmas. I'll get on my knees and worship a great bagel or Seinfeld episode but my godless heart will never embrace synagogue, sheitels, or the ban on pig consumption. I've mainly practiced my parents' pick-and-mix brand of Judaism in London and New York — two cities that have been my home for most of the last 37 years, and which make me feel very differently about my heritage.

In London, liberal, secular Jews like me sank into the landscape. Only very rarely did people spot my Jewishness from hints like my name — or the fact that I could be mistaken for an extra from Fiddler on the Roof.

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