KM is a student at the University of Southern California studying architecture. She is from Encino, CA and has lived her whole life in Southern California. She comes from two Israeli parents and has a strong Jewish background as most of her family lives in Israel. She attended a private Jewish high school and learned Hebrew over the course of her school career. She actively participates in many holiday traditions and prayer rituals.
Are there any rituals you and your family practice together regularly?
KM: Well we have Shabbat every Friday night to Saturday. We have dinner together and sometimes other family members come like my grandfather. It is more of a day each week of rest. It is a day we liked to spend together and a day of prayer where I can feel connected to my religion even though I don’t go to the temple as much anymore as we used to.
Are there any special rituals you have that you carry out?
KM: We light candles and put them in our window every Friday evening. It is a way to tell that you are Jewish and you are celebrating the Shabbat. That is the kind of thing my parents taught me to do. We do not really consider ourselves as a conservative Jewish family anymore but this is something we still strictly do. Most Jews who are conservative are extremely strict about the Shabbat and temple as weekly things they find of importance. We don’t celebrate the Shabbat as much as we used to after me and my brother and sister went off to college but it is still something that is very important to me.
Shabbat is something that is commonly practiced by many Jews. The rituals and traditions of each family can vary as Jewish folklore often varies slightly from one culture or family to another. The lighting of candles is extremely important to the day of rest. The day of rest is to take away from your common everyday labor and to take it as a day to commit yourself more to your religious practices.