I got an email from GW Hillel saying, ‘Come join us in our vaccine efforts,’ so I emailed the people that run it and the JCC and Hillel. I previously worked for Joe Biden’s campaign on the Voter Protection Team in Florida, so I had that experience with the managerial side of this and told them I wanted to work with them.
I am a disabled, queer Jew with invisible disabilities such as ADHD—and I have faced a lot of challenges and successes with my identity. I struggled a lot with self-acceptance and finding a balance between my Judaism and two other identities that aren’t often discussed in the Jewish community.
I think the music I write is a reflection of my story. A lot of it is about my conscious analysis of what it is to be Black and Jewish. It’s my commentary on that experience. Hillel has provided that support system for me, and it has also influenced the actual art itself.
I don’t see that my Persian identity ever has to stop for my Jewish identity to start. Iranian Jews have been in Iran since 586 BCE, so the Iranian and Iraqi diaspora are the most historic diaspora of the Jews. My family has been in Iran longer than we’ve been in Israel and longer than we’ve been in the U.S.
There’s this perception, largely accurate, that college kids are not particularly observant. I was really concerned about finding a synagogue that could be a home for me and some type of observant community at school. I was worried I was going to be left out or stuck on my own on Shabbos.
The Jewish people and lovers of theater have made it clear that they will confront any obstacle that comes their way.
In Judaism and theater, I feel a constant need to improve; to know that each event or moment in time can be better than the one that came before it.
“Judaism is more than my religion — it’s my identity.”
“While Shabbat services have been an incredibly important part of my life, not everyone connects with our rich tradition by praying out of a book.”
“My dad is Jewish, and my mom is Chinese. Growing up, I noticed I was different from others in Boulder, Colorado.”
“I am biracial. My dad is Black and Christian, and my mom is white and Jewish.”