I’ve always known that I was Jewish. Just like I’ve always known that I am Chilean-American. In a lot of ways, being both are similar experiences. Both, for example, have traditions that make the identity what it is. From traditional food to large gatherings to be together.
I grew up speaking Spanish, and as a teenager when I started to actually try and read Spanish fluently, I began reading my dad’s Torah, which had given to me. I was named Guimel, partly because my dad wanted me to have the initials GMC to honor America because his brother never got the ability to come and he needed a G name.
As to say, being both Latin-American as well as Jewish has always been important to me. Particularly when I started to become a practicing Jew when I started college. Going to Hillel introduced me to my best friend and a friend group I don’t know where I would be without. Going to Hillel has enriched my life in ways I will always appreciate.
I have found that for all of us, whether or not we are actually religious, being Jewish runs deep. Having that connection and those bonds I think will last the rest of our lives, and that makes me grateful for being Jewish.