Tamar Caspi is an advice colum­nist for JDate and has a syn­di­cat­ed col­umn that has been pub­lished around the world since 2008. Her book, How to Woo a Jew: The Mod­ern Jew­ish Guide to Dat­ing and Mat­ing, will be pub­lished by Seal Press on Jan­u­ary 28th. She will be blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

At birth I was blessed with not one, not two, but four Jew­ish names. Tamar Avi­tal is the name my par­ents gave me, and then they also bequeathed upon me a Hebrew name because appar­ent­ly Tamar Avi­tal isn’t Hebrew enough. To hon­or my great-great aunts I was also named P’nina Yafa. And with the last name Caspi I didn’t have a fight­ing chance to be any­thing but Jew­ish. Peo­ple would know I was a Jew before they would meet me and for most of my life that was fine as I always iden­ti­fied as Jew­ish, an iden­ti­ty which was only fur­ther ingrained via the Jew­ish Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter for preschool, pri­vate Jew­ish ele­men­tary school, Jew­ish sleep­away camp, tem­ple youth group, Hil­lel in col­lege and so on. My first kiss took place dur­ing my birth­day par­ty when I turned twelve, dur­ing a game of spin the bot­tle with the nice Jew­ish boy from the neigh­bor­hood who pre­vi­ous­ly was my hus­band” in Kinder­garten at the San Diego Jew­ish Acad­e­my. My first real make-out ses­sion hap­pened beneath the red­wood trees of Sarato­ga, Cal­i­for­nia at Camp Swig — with a nice Jew­ish boy from North­ern California. 

I nev­er thought twice about hav­ing a Jew­ish fam­i­ly until mid­way through high school when I sub­con­scious­ly and unin­ten­tion­al­ly decid­ed that I didn’t need a Jew­ish hus­band to make that hap­pen. None of my high school boyfriends were Jew­ish, nor were my col­lege boyfriends or any of the guys I dat­ed through my ear­ly twen­ties. I was plan­ning an inter­faith fam­i­ly in my head. I knew there were rab­bis who would agree to offi­ci­ate at an inter­faith mar­riage, and I even once had a dis­cus­sion with my col­lege boyfriend about allow­ing future chil­dren to cel­e­brate Christ­mas at his parent’s house just not in our house. Even­tu­al­ly, as I matured and gath­ered more life expe­ri­ence, I came to the real­iza­tion that I did indeed need and want and desire a Jew­ish hus­band. As my Jew­ish girl­friends were get­ting mar­ried and start­ing fam­i­lies, I real­ized that hav­ing a Jew­ish hus­band who was raised sim­i­lar­ly made these mile­stones all the more mean­ing­ful and that aware­ness changed my mind­set com­plete­ly. Sud­den­ly all I saw were Yids. In fact, I would ask if a guy was Jew­ish before even won­der­ing if he was sin­gle. Non-Jews were per­sona non-gra­ta and I had zero attrac­tion to those who were not mem­bers of the tribe. Not only did I want a Jew­ish home with a Jew­ish fam­i­ly, but I want­ed a Jew­ish hus­band too — bonus points for hav­ing mul­ti­ple Jew­ish names.

Tamar Caspi’s writ­ing has appeared in pub­li­ca­tions like The Jerusalem Post, The New York Post, The Jew­ish Advo­cate, The San Diego Jew­ish Jour­nal, and more. Caspi has a back­ground in news, TV, radio, and mar­ket­ing with a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Women’s Stud­ies from UCLA. She cur­rent­ly lives with her fam­i­ly in San Diego, Cal­i­for­nia. Read more about her here.

Tamar Caspi has a syn­di­cat­ed Jew­ish dat­ing advice col­umn that has been pub­lished in var­i­ous mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers around the world since 2008 and has been a JDate​.com advice colum­nist since 2010. Caspi has a back­ground in media and mar­ket­ing with a Bach­e­lor of Arts in Wom­en’s Stud­ies from UCLA. She lives with her fam­i­ly in San Diego, CA.