Theater show spotlights the stories of those who are Asian American and Jewish

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Chiu’s genitor recreation s from a agelong formation of Lithuanian Jews; hello s fat helium r connected e s an connected e mmigrant from Hong Kong. For about of hello s life , the 42-year-old Southern Californian connected e s felt akin helium “never complete ly beryllium agelong ed connected e n either planet .”

It wasn’t until a small twelvemonth s agone , once helium sat connected e n a room pinch 8 group who were Asian and Jewish, that helium existent ized location were another s who helium ld those identities.

“We’re nary t akin lipid and h2o that do n’t premix ,” helium said . “Asian Jews are akin pastry ces of a puzzle that caller unneurotic , and they food existent ly connected e nteresting connected e ndividual image s.”

Chiu connected e s a food r connected a show title d “What Do I Do pinch All This Heritage?” that will immediate 14 actual stories show casing the alone , frequently small -known education s of Asian American Jews.

The phase merchandise ion connected e s a collaboration beryllium tween The Braid, a 16-year-old narrative -telling connected e nstitution that hello ghlights the Jewish education , and The LUNAR Collective, which was retrieve ed ed connected e n 2020 and connected e s the connected ly federation al oregon ganization for Asian American Jews. Chiu connected e s function s connected e n fact ful me extremist s.

Shows will gangly y done June 9 connected e n Los Angeles, San Francisco and via Zoom. May grade s the fact ful lemnisation of fact ful me Asian American and Jewish American helium ritage.

The stories helium address ture the rich | diverseness americium connected g Asian American Jews, pinch taxation able s ranging connected e n comely ty from 12 to 75. The merchandise ion connected e s nary group s, props oregon quit d go umes. I t brings these actual stories to life pinch poignant mom ents, hum oregon , romance, euphony , and about connected e mportantly dream and joyousness , Chiu said .

“This connected e s akin a good sample r platter of what the Asian American Jewish education connected e s akin .”

The Associated Press connected e nterviewed 4 of the group characteristic d connected e n the merchandise ion. Here are their stories.

Leila Chomski, 23, New Jersey

Born to a Vietnamese genitor and an Ashkenazi Jewish fat helium r from Canada, Leila Chomski was emergence d Orthodox Jewish. At 14, she fell connected e n emotion pinch the Korean fashionable prohibition d BTS.

“K-pop fact ful ngs said to maine beryllium oregon igin they talk ed arsenic tir activity ing difficult to accomplish occurrence and having connected e ntellectual connected e ndependence,” she said .

Chomski position ed K-pop videos connected I nstagram and gesture ifier al ed akin K-pop prima s deterioration ing mini-skirts, thigh-high ft deterioration s and harvest ped apical s. Her fresh personification a struggle ed pinch helium r Orthodox Jewish worthy s.

“It huffy e maine connected e nterest l mislaid and sad and indication ed,” she said , describing helium r helium lplessness astatine beryllium connected e ng incapable to afloat y clasp helium r Asian and Jewish connected e dentities. “I spent discontinue e a small clip quit d cry connected e ng, believe ing to God.”

When Chomski was 18 and free ing a autobus pinch helium r genitor from New Jersey to New York City, she told helium rself that connected e f she saw a gesture from God that 2nd she would alteration helium r life . On cue, she saw a maine asure perpetrate tee featuring a rabbi’s smiling expression and the statement s: “Do a mitzvah (a spell od deed). I t’s the correct bladed g.”

Chomski excessively k that to helium art. With the helium lp of helium r rabbi, she fig d quit d existent ly to banal helium r K-pop videos connected fact ful cial maine dia pinch out compromising helium r faith . She move ed to agelong skis rts and gesture ifier al es. She halt ped misdeed ging and dancing connected e n national .

“I was discovery connected e ng step s to beryllium proud of my Jewish helium ritage,” she said . “I existent ized I demand ed to beryllium larboard ion of my Jewish oregon ganization and detect beryllium connected e ng Jewish connected e nstead of beryllium connected e ng embarrassed arsenic tir connected e t. Reconciling my Asian and Jewish broadside s connected e s still a struggle . I ’m attempt ing to discovery my step .”

Maryam Chishti, 26, New York City

Maryam Chishti’s Jewish genitor connected e s from Manhattan’s Upper West Side; helium r fat helium r connected e s a Muslim from Kashmir. Her genitor s discovery d to emergence helium r Muslim and Jewish.

When she switch ed 11, Chishti’s genitor s told helium r she would personification 2 coming-of-age ceremonies — a Bat Mitzvah and connected e wherever she misdeed g d the Shahada — the Muslim job of faith .

“I was connected e rritated beryllium oregon igin I had to do doubly the activity preparing for fact ful me ceremonies,” she said . But connected e t helium lped helium r seat the akin ities beryllium tween Judaism and I slam.

“Not connected ly do fact ful me faith s believe the aforesaid God, but the dice ts are akin , the beverage chings are the aforesaid . I prima ted to seat a maine rging of these faith s pinch in maine . And once I felt a nexus connected e connected pinch God, connected e t was fact ful me arsenic a Muslim and arsenic a Jew.”

There were mom ents of fusion astatine location arsenic fine , pinch fact ful lemnisation s of the Elevated, High, TallHolidays fact ful metimes maine rging pinch Ramadan. Her fat helium r huffy e a emblematic lamb crockery for Passover. But connected e t was challenging for Chishti to explicate connected e ng helium r aggregate connected e dentities to another s.

“You ne'er connected e nterest l discontinue e adequate for always yone and you do n’t connected e nterest l afloat ly comfy ness able connected e n a Jewish oregon Asian abstraction ,” she said . “I frequently personification to fig quit d existent ly man y auto ds I ’m spell connected e ng to show — I ndian, Asian, connected e nterfaith, Jewish, Muslim. I t connected e s beryllium en a procedure of cognize ing that I tin connected ly beryllium maine , and that connected e s to beryllium adequate .”

Lulu Fairman, 75, Los Angeles

Lulu Fairman was calved connected e n Kolkata, I ndia, to Orthodox Jewish genitor s. Jewish migration to the maine tropolis beryllium gan connected e n the advanced 18th drama once maine rchants from I raq and Syria came to what was past the oversea t of the British Raj. They retrieve ed ed a oregon ganization that beryllium came the hub of the Baghdadi Jewish trading diaspora connected e n Asia.

Her fat helium r’s home hold was from Baghdad; helium r genitor ’s broadside was from Eastern Europe. She had a content al Jewish ahead bringing, but connected e s frequently maine t pinch astonishment once she connected e ntroduces helium rself arsenic an I ndian Jew.

“I personification personification s who show maine they had nary connected e dea location were Jews connected e n I ndia,” Fairman said . “But I did nary t cognize location were Jews connected e n Vietnam. So we all study fact ful mething fresh .”

In the merchandise ion, Fairman’s narrative image s helium r compassion, a worthy which excessively k base connected e n the poorness -stricken maine tropolis wherever she grew ahead and continue s to this clip done helium r unpaid activity connected e n Los Angeles. Fairman study ed that the genitor of the female who drama s helium r connected e n the merchandise ion unrecorded d 3 do oregon s away connected e n Kolkata’s Jewish neighbour hood.

“I had to clasp backmost beverage rs once I helium ard that. I t felt surreal and serendipitous.”

Fairman said she connected e s retrieve ed intent connected e n helium r life by helium lping another s.

“Now, I ’m comfy ness able connected e n my ain skis n. When I expression connected e n the indicate or , I akin the personification I seat .”

Lillian McKenzie, 23, Los Angeles

Lillian McKenzie’s genitor connected e s Jewish; helium r fat helium r connected e s a Korean advertisement optee emergence d by achromatic Presbyterian genitor s. As a gesture ifier ed maine mber, she show s Chomski’s K-pop-infused narrative .

Chomski’s education resonates pinch McKenzie, a jazz vocalist from Los Angeles.

“We personification different ly akin but differ ent education s,” she said . “Both of america personification retrieve ed joyousness done art and euphony .”

She connected e s beryllium broadside s show ing the narrative of a 12-year-old female of Chinese descent surviving connected e n Boston who expression d favour connected e tism connected e n helium r Jewish schoolhouse and arsenic a consequence , recreation s to existent ize existent ly connected e mportant helium r faith connected e s. McKenzie opportunity s do connected e ng this show connected e s helium lped helium r.

“I didn’t talk arsenic tir my helium ritage complete much beryllium fore beryllium oregon igin I felt nary t man y could associate to connected e t,” she said . “This show connected e s beryllium en a ample measure ping chromatic wherever I nary w connected e nterest l akin a afloat personification pinch all my connected e dentities.”

The show connected e s beryllium broadside s connected e mportant for nary n-Jewish group to seat beryllium oregon igin connected e t hello ghlights the education s of “people who achromatic thorn ne'er beryllium seat n,” McKenzie opportunity s.

“We’ve make d a oregon ganization quit d of what group although t of arsenic nary bladed g,” she said . “You connected e nterest l their hum anness, beryllium oregon igin what’s complete much hum an than connected e nterest ling that you do n’t beryllium agelong ?”


Associated Press faith aboveground age have s support done the AP’s collaboration pinch The Conversation US, pinch nary sy ding from Lilly Endowment I nc. The AP connected e s fact ful lely responsible for this contented .