Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gillian Mayer Interview

Today I had the privilege of interviewing Gillian Mayer.   Here is her story:


I grew up in a Conservative Jewish household in Coney Island, NY. I remember, very early, seeing flyers posted under the elevated train lines that said Jews For Jesus and asking my mother what those meant. She very sternly told me that those were not for us and we never discussed it again.

We weren't particularly observant, but we were Jewish! Family gathered for all holidays and there was some semblance of ritual, yet we never attended Shul. I was given the choice of Hebrew lessons or music lessons and the obvious choice for me was music. I didn't really know what being a Bat Mitzvah meant, but it sounded boring and I was going to be a musician.

My parents decided to move to Houston, TX, so off we went. Leaving our extended family behind, we also left what little observance we still enjoyed behind. We still had holiday dinners, but they weren't the same. My father refused to join any of the synagogues here because he believed that all they wanted was his money. I did manage to fall in with a Jewish crowd and assumed that I would marry a Jewish man, but when I met the man I was to marry, he wasn't Jewish.

We married and were okay until we had children. We had agreed that we would teach them everything, but something in me changed. My children were not setting foot in a church. Through a friend, we learned about a congregation where Jewish people and gentile people worshipped together. I agreed to go.

At first, I thought these people were all nuts. There was a band and dancing, but G-d knew what he was doing. I was being drawn in by the music. I found myself singing along, but when we came to "that word" I would skip it. I started reading my husband's bible and thought they were nice stories. That changed to I suppose this could be true and finally to how could this not be true. I was thirty years old when I realized that this Name that I had seen on a flyer as a child was, in fact, for me.

You'll also enjoy the music of Corry Bell & Lev Shelo, Nate Benjamin, Ted Pearce, Debbie Chernoff, Jonathan Settel and the Schleps!

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