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Finding My Judaism in the Middle of Nowhere

A family picture in the Airbnb right before Shabbat began

It seemed like the natural choice in 2020: when a group of friends from college offer you the opportunity to join their quarantine pod for the fall semester, in an Airbnb in the middle of a forest in the Hamptons of Long Island, NY, you say yes. When that offer comes after more than six months of no contact with anyone other than immediate family (love you all), that YES is even more emphatic. 

I was so excited by the prospect of something, anything, that would allow me to be reunited with college friends and have a change of scenery that I brushed off the fact that all of them are on the Orthodox spectrum of Jewish observance—and I am very much not.