I grew up with my Jewish mother in the very Jewish suburb of Bondi and only started a relationship with my Indonesian father and siblings about 6 years ago. Although I grew up in a very Jewish area, I had left that path around my teenage years and only returned to my Judaism this year.
My father and half siblings are all Muslim. They live in a Muslim country, they go to the mosque, and yet they are very accepting and respectful of their Jewish sister. I had started keeping Shabbos shortly before my departure to Indonesia this year and so I had made sure to learn how to make my own challah and brought some candlesticks.
The town where my family lives in Indonesia is 100% Muslim. Throughout the day it is so common to hear the Muslim call to prayer I don’t even notice it anymore. My brother’s mother is French and lives in the ‘Kampung’ (the village). When I asked her if I could make Shabbos in her house, she was very intrigued and offered to help.
At a recent breakfast event, well-known philanthropist David Schottenstein explained why he supports Mayanot. David and Eda Schottenstein have been partnering with Mayanot for over a decade. At a recent breakfast in Jerusalem, in support of Mayanot, David responded to a question that many ask. Why do you give to Mayanot, an educational organization, when there is so much need and you can give directly to poor people?
Schottenstein explains, “An organization like Mayanot takes people who may otherwise not have a connection to yiddishkeit, and they become completely involved. These same people end up being huge donors to a number of organizations. People, who otherwise may have been donating to an art museum or to the symphony come through Mayanot and they raise their families with Jewish commitment…To me, Mayanot is really one of the best investments Eda and I have ever made. We have been fortunate enough to be involved in many organizations, many of which are amazing, but I don’t think…