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Image: Meryl Alcabes

What does being Jewish mean to you? 

Being Jewish is to be unique, to be part of a select, yet larger community. I like to connect in a way my wife Phyllis calls “bageling.” This is where we subtly put out something Jewish to self-identify and thus attract the attention of other Jews. Like my motorcycle license plate, “Oi Vey,” or my boat named “Challah Day.” People will stop and connect — whether it’s locally at Temple Beth Am or in Cuzco, Peru. I did a study that included Birthright Israel for my doctoral research. I also learn a lot about who I am from being a film reviewer for the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. I continually gain a sense of greater appreciation of my heritage.            

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