Last night, over 200 people joined Sinai Temple for Inheritance, a discussion between author Dani Shapiro and Rabbi David Wolpe. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love is the name of Shapiro’s new book, which chronicles her real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life.
From a young age, Shapiro felt that she didn’t quite “belong” in the Orthodox community in which she was raised. She was constantly reminded of her “otherness,” and told that her blue eyes and blonde hair meant she didn’t “look Jewish.” On a whim, Shapiro took a DNA test, which turned her whole world upside down, as she discovered that her family had kept a massive secret from her. It turns out that she was conceived via a sperm donor. Following this discovery, through the power of social media, she was ultimately able to find her actual, non-Jewish father. This entire journey has not changed her Jewish identity – in fact, if anything, it has made it stronger and more meaningful.
Shapiro also announced her new podcast, Family Secrets, which launches today and will tell the story of other family discoveries and narratives that shift perspectives.
To learn more about Dani Shapiro and Sinai Temple programs like Inheritance, contact Rebeka Small at email@example.com.