At 28, Brooklyn-born Becky Jaye is in Jerusalem studying to become a rabbi
In her words:
“My dad is Russian and Polish and Jewish and my mom is Christian and also Korean. We grew up going to synagogue and church all the time. There was so much respect for each other’s religion. After I graduated high school I did decide to go to the mikvah and took classes at my synagogue and went through a formal conversion. I was meant to go to law school, but decided to change my path and go to rabbinic school.
“I was deep into law and really wanted to go down that path and then I was with a lot of American Jews who said some really hurtful things to me about not being Jewish “enough” because my mom wasn’t Jewish or because I was Korean and not white.
“It was really painful and the reason why I took those classes at the synagogue after I graduated was because I wanted to understand where these comments were really coming from. It wasn’t like I walked into the synagogue and automatically felt welcome. I was really scared but I ended up falling in love with everyone there because everyone was so welcoming. That’s the Judaism that I think is so important.
“In some ways, it felt like it gave me a different life. At the time, I was going through some health problems. I was having seizures all over New York City and it was terrifying. Every time I woke up after a seizure I was like, “What’s most important to me?” It wasn’t my job, it wasn’t money, it was my family and my community. That really brought into focus for me that this was something that I really love to be a part of.”