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What's Cantonese for Mazel Tov?

     Chinese and Jewish Families Mashup in New Jersey

                 

A Book About My Jewish-Chinese Family:  

Two weddings in the Year of the Horse

In 2014 my adorable daughter Sara, descended from a long line of European and American Jews, married a fine young man whose family arrived in the US from Canton, China, in the 1960s. His name is Geoffrey Lee. That made Sara's married name...(insert your answer here).

Around the same time, my nephew Yakov, raised in the Orthodox Jewish tradition (black hat, dark suit, fringes hanging out of his pants) found a lovely Shanghainese girl whose parents were practicing Methodists. He got her pregnant. He wasn't even supposed to know how to do that. They quickly married and she converted to Judaism in a much-faster-than-usual manner.

And so the merger (or clash) of ancient cultures began. In this slice-of-life memoir of a diversifying America, cultures mashup at first meetings, wedding ceremonies, holidays, and all the other occasions families have while attempting to be normal. The Jews are always late. The Chinese are always early. Pre-pandemic and post-vaccination Jews hug for almost no reason. A Chinese mom and her son will shake hands on Mothers’ Day.

The Reform Jews on one side of the family and the Orthodox Jews on the other can't figure each other out, either.

You get the idea. It's The Goldbergs meet Fresh Off the Boat, with a side of Shtisel. It's a piece of America in the 2020s.