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This One Goes Out To All My Jewish Readers

Even though, I am not what you would call a ‘practicing’ Jew. In fact, I wouldn’t identify myself as Jewish. At. All. I don’t speak or read Hebrew. I didn’t attend Hebrew school, nor did I have a Bat-mitzvah. I don’t attend temple, and I am not raising my son Jewish.

So why am I participating in this event?

Anyone up for a ‘Quick Family History’?



My grandmother, my mothers mother, “MANGA” was an Italian Catholic lady. My uncles, my cousins and relatives on her side of the family are also Italian Catholic. My grandfather, my mothers father, “POPPA-SYE” is Jewish. When Manga & Poppa Sye got married way back in the day, their interfaith wedding was a huge taboo. You can read all about their love story here.

My mother, Pam, was raised with both religions and ideals. She was allowed to choose which religion she wanted to be when she grew up. Somewhere along the way, my mother eventually decided to embrace the Jewish religion. I’m not exactly sure when or why.

While my brother Adam went on to attend Hebrew school complete with having a Bar-mitzvah, I went off to tour with the Grateful Dead.

Later on, my mother married her high school sweetheart (my now stepfather). He is what I like to call a ‘Pseudo-Jew’. My stepfather, Ron, was born and raised Italian Catholic. His whole side of family is also Italian Catholic.  My stepfather converted to Judaism in his previous marriage and raised his son my stepbrother Lee with the Jewish faith.

So. Let’s break this down.

My family (on BOTH SIDES) are Italian Catholics. EXCEPT for my immediate family.

My mother, my stepfather, both of my brothers and both of their wives and all of their children, are Jewish.

Got all that?

The coolest thing about my family’s religious situation? Up in here we celebrate all of the Jewish holidays AND all of the Catholic holidays. It’s like getting to party together practically year round.

Happy Hanukkah!

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  • Good for you! Enjoy the best of both worlds! 🙂

  • You are Jewish then. I a way. I mean isn’t part of it that your a descendant of one of the 12 tribes of Israel?

    Sounds like your going to have a great deal of fun during the holidays!

    Hey, check out Lady Banana’s post “Mabel & The Screen Spider.” Maybe you could get a cat & teach it to hunt down spiders like that. I know you can’t stand spiders.


  • Sounds like a house full of joy to me. Happy Hannukah!!!

  • Lee

    And I thought my religious background was convoluted! Thanks for sharing the family history with us, Meleah. I have to tell you, I heard a comedian on the radio the other day who made the statement that Jewish grandmothers and Italian Catholic grandmothers were the same thing. I wish I could remember everything he said because it was hysterical…and TRUE!

    I’m Catholic and not Jewish, but I’ve attended several Seder suppers, so Happy Hanukkah anyway! 😀 In fact, I hope everyone’s holidays, no matter what they celebrate are filled with laughter, love, and peace.

  • That should have been “IN a way?”

  • well all i know is you guys must be raking in the presents doing it like that!!!!!!

  • Oh man, does that mean you get to celebrate Purim too? I love any holiday!

    Actually, I love any reason to celebrate…
    Happy Hanukkah!

  • So I guess it’s in order for me to wish you a Fantastic Festivus! LOL.

    Seriously, have wonderful holidays! 🙂

  • I love your family accepts and embraces both. People should take note of your family….seriously!

  • This really sounds like a super way to spend the holidays. DOUBLE good!

  • Happy Hanukkah!
    Makes lots of sense 😉

  • Happy Hanukkah! The best of both worlds :O)

  • Happy Hanukkah! Regardless what religion you have, we still love you.

  • The best of both worlds for you! Happy Holidays… ALL of them!

  • Happy Hanukkah everyone 😀

  • Getting together with family is what makes the holidays the best. I am hoping my cousins will stop by the day after Christmas but who knows – it is -46 with the windchill here today… but I digress.

  • Merry Hanukkah!!!?!

    Hey, I’m gonna miss you guys this year…give everyone an extra hug for me at Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years!!

  • This requires a very long response from yours truly, and I’m not in the mood to be a bore today. Let’s just say that I think there’s a natural intersection between Catholics and Jews.

    Happy everything and all that good stuff!

  • Meleah


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