Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Turning Tides: Halfway up the Mountain

As told to Leah Gebber

Joanne had an accent that was all over the place. I pressed the receiver hard against my ear to try to make out what she was saying, but she was talking so fast it was hard to make heads or tails of it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I should have known. I had spoken to her for just five minutes, yet she had already made me do the unthinkable. When she asked me to come over, instead of putting her off until the next day, after my cleaning lady had come and gone and my house was guest worthy, I said yes. Just like that. I should have known…. To backtrack: Our little community was established around 15 years ago — and it was done so for pure economics. It was impossible for us to afford housing in the heim (New York), so our rav called a group of us together and encouraged us to explore this possibility. Our town is 35 miles away from the nearest heimish kehillah, so once a week we get a delivery of staples: chicken, bread, chalav Yisrael yogurt. Most of us have known each other (or each others’ cousins) since our first pair of shoes. When our kehillah was established, we didn’t know there were any Jews living here — actually, we didn’t find out until about ten years ago, when a small Conservative school was established. We certainly didn’t come to do kiruv. We treat our coreligionists with respect, but we’re not looking to share gefilte fish recipes. And nowJoanne had moved in.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you