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By the end of the weekend, we were officially dating.

*** Judaism is and always has been at the core of my identity.

This was my ulterior motive when I planned a trip up to New England.

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It was the day I’d long hoped for, marrying a nice Jewish girl. In fact, by the time we’d started dating, I’d given up on Jewish women, and my dream of a perfect Jewish wedding, altogether. The intense pressure I felt to date and marry within the tribe damaged my perception of Jewish women and my ability to be myself around them.

This information was pounded in from all directions, from rabbis, from my parents, my grandparents, Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah.

By the time I graduated, I’d still never been in anything approaching a serious relationship. She lived in New Hampshire, shared all of my nerdy hobbies, had a great sense of humor, and looked like a younger blonde version of geek icon Gillian Anderson from .

She had a great sense of humor, a wonderful smile, and an honesty that I found refreshing.

My parents liked Alicia, but not the fact that she wasn’t Jewish.

My paternal grandparents were more concerned; I promised them that I would only marry a Jewish girl.

We would chat with each other online virtually every day while I was in college, and even after I graduated. Before long the site gave me a listing of potential Jewish candidates.

Though I was excited by these possibilities at first, the resulting dates could best be compared to episodes.

Most of the women the site matched me with wouldn’t risk even a simple online chat with me.

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