My Jewish Journey: Matthew Reiskin

Sitting on the bimah at my son’s Bar Mitzvah, I gaze out at family and friends, and I’m drawn back 40 years. The sanctuary is darker, without stained glass windows. Cantor Garber is queuing me to go to the pulpit. I chant with Rabbi Weinberg at my side, and I can hear my father in my speech.

Our son chants musically and presents his speech with poise. In addressing him, my wife tells of her family background in China, bereft of religious tradition, and she is glad for the rich culture that Judaism has brought to our family. I tell him that Jewish values will guide him through challenges in his life.

Of the many choices between my Bar Mitzvah and his, we have decided to give our kids a Jewish education, which will serve them throughout their lives, and perhaps for another generation.