This month, Easter Sunday comes right in the middle of the Jewish Passover celebration. That got me thinking about some of the experiences I've had, being raised half-and-half, both Christian and Jewish.
When I was growing up in Cincinnati, my parents sent me to Saturday Hebrew School at Isaac M. Wise Temple, and to Sunday school at Hyde Park Methodist Church. My mother was Jewish, my father was Methodist, and neither of them converted to the other's religion. They wanted me to experience both religions so I could make up my own mind later on. I enjoyed the chance to participate in both traditions, and eventually decided my orientation is spiritual. I'm not a member of any particular religious group.
In high school in Cincinnati in the 1950s, we actually had Greek-letter sororities and fraternities, which were common in college but not usually in high school. Membership in a particular sorority or fraternity greatly affected a student's popularity. As a high school junior (I was co-editor of the school newspaper and active in lots of school groups), I wanted to pledge a certain sorority. The sorority membership director found out that my mother, who was a librarian at school, was Jewish. Very quickly I got the word that my name was no longer being considered for membership -- I had been "blackballed," for no specified reason. But I knew what the reason was: my mother was Jewish. That was the only time I've ever had the experience of being ostracized because of my Jewish heritage.