I went to a Christmas at her family’s house and it felt less ritualistic than family’s Christmas Eve Chinese-food-and-a-movie tradition.Even as our relationship became more serious, I did not want to push her to convert, yet I kept hoping she would become interested in the religion on her own.My paternal grandparents survived the Holocaust and met at a displaced persons camp in Landsberg, Germany, before they moved to the United States.My father spent his entire professional life working for Jewish Federations across the country.By the time I graduated, I’d still never been in anything approaching a serious relationship. She lived in New Hampshire, shared all of my nerdy hobbies, had a great sense of humor, and looked like a younger blonde version of geek icon Gillian Anderson from .She had a great sense of humor, a wonderful smile, and an honesty that I found refreshing.It felt wrong for me to pressure her, yet at the same time I knew that if she didn’t convert, the relationship would almost certainly have to end at some point.
This information was pounded in from all directions, from rabbis, from my parents, my grandparents, Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah.But even while my relationships with non-Jewish girls fizzled, I still didn’t have any other options.Jewish girls often were interested in Jewish guys—many of these girls ended up dating and even marrying Jews; they just weren’t interested in dating high-pressure, community-survival minded, intense, and awkward me. While I was at school, I joined an online discussion forum where I began to chat with a non-Jewish girl named Alicia.As a child, I grew up in Conservative congregations in Georgia, New Jersey, and Minnesota, was educated in Jewish day schools from kindergarten through fifth grade, and spent most of my childhood summers at Jewish summer camps.As an adult I have written for Jewish newspapers and teach in a synagogue. She would usually say that she was “not an atheist” or that she was a non-practicing Methodist.