So dating Jewish boys was pretty much the norm all the way through high school, and there would have been strong resistance at home to my having a boyfriend who wasn’t Jewish.
At the same time, after years of discrimination, Jews were finally being included in mainstream American life, which has led to a more blended population … When I was growing up in Queens, one of the suburban boroughs of New York City, the neighborhood was very ethnic and predominantly Jewish.
Orthodox Jews follow religious laws most strictly – for example, eating a kosher diet and strictly observing the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) – and would be less likely to date Reform or Conservative Jews, who are more flexible about their level of religious practice.
When I’ve dated Jewish men, sometimes there’s an immediate feeling of familiarity, even if we’ve just met.
There are many positive elements to the cultural stereotype of a Jewish family – warmth, lots and lots of love, unconditional support, and deep, intense family values (The food can be pretty terrific, too).
It can seem like an over-the-top free for all sometimes, and even when you grow up in the middle of a big, close Jewish family, like I did, it can take a lifetime to get used to.
The thought of one Jewish person dating another Jewish person seems simple and straightforward, but sometimes it’s not!