Adele Vernon: Coming Back to Jewish Roots
Date:Thursday, January 1, 2009
ID:Digital audio recording #: 20.09-12
SF: Adele would you like to say your Hebrew name.
AV: Oh sure, well my original Hebrew name was Hannah and then when I went through the pro-forma with Rabbi Victor Reinstein to become Jewish I adopted my great-grandmother’s Hebrew name as well because I wanted to be like her, she was indomitable, and her name was Miriam so I am now Miriam Hannah bat Gittel. And finding the name Gittel was quite a surprise because my mother, because of Kristallnacht and her foster mother from Berlin, they were crying by the radio listening to what was going on in Germany and that’s when my mother said, “Don’t let anyone know we’re Jewish.” And so out of the whole family, being the oldest of the six children, I’m the only one that has got back to the roots to be Jewish, the others are not and they’ve forgotten if they ever really knew. So I’m a latecomer to practicing Judaism but I’ve always known that I was Jewish and I can remember when I was about seven or eight years old telling my next-door neighbour who was two years older than me that I was Jewish but not Orthodox, and she said, “What does Orthodox mean?” and I said, “I have no idea!” [Laughing].