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Saturday, June 25 • 7:50pm - 9:00pm
Memory and Narration: The Persistence of Jewish Identity in Conversion

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In my recent interviews with 25 family members, direct descendants of my parents, German Jewish refugees who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1930s, I seek to ascertain the impact of a contested Jewish identity on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the Jewish self. I begin with a few family documents: poems by a paternal grandfather written just before his conversion to German Protestantism; a brief autobiographical sketch by my aging mother recounting her terrifying escape from Nazi Europe some sixty years earlier; an email from a brother's trip to Theresienstadt in homage to our maternal great-grandmother's death there. I follow with excerpts from recent interviews with 25 family members, all attesting in one way or another to the remarkable impact of my mother's role in preserving the family mythos of flight, escape,and survival. Taken together, these texts present an overwhelmingly Jewish story -- however tenuously held or understood.

avatar for Angela Botelho

Angela Botelho

I am the Jewish daughter of German Jewish refugees who converted to Roman Catholicism in the 1930s. Following a career as an attorney in the California State Attorney General's Office, I began a course of studies at the Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies at the Graduate Theological... Read More →

Saturday June 25, 2016 7:50pm - 9:00pm PDT
SC2082 Russian River Valley

Attendees (4)