On Mon­day, Dani Shapiro wrote about mov­ing from Jew­ish NY to churchy Con­necti­cut.

In many ways, our move from the city to the coun­try mir­rored an ear­li­er shift in my life – one in which I went from the yeshi­va to prep school when I was in the sev­enth grade. My Ortho­dox father and non-reli­gious moth­er had fought bit­ter­ly over my reli­gious edu­ca­tion. If my father had had his way, I would have gone to yeshi­va through high school. But my moth­er won out, and so I was shift­ed quite rad­i­cal­ly from a world which was entire­ly Jew­ish to a world which was decid­ed­ly not. (From yarmulkes to field hock­ey sticks in one fell swoop.)

That time was for­ma­tive, and to this day, noth­ing makes me more aware of being Jew­ish than real­iz­ing that I’m the only Jew in the room. This is how it felt at prep school — and, once again, this is how it felt in Con­necti­cut. If rais­ing my son to have a sense of his Jew­ish her­itage was impor­tant to me (and it was) then I need­ed to pro­vide him with a com­mu­ni­ty. But how to find a com­mu­ni­ty in the hills of Litch­field Coun­ty? How, when he was the only Jew­ish child in his class? What had we done?

It was time to find the Jews.

I start­ed, not with a syn­a­gogue, but with a coali­tion made up most­ly of New York­ers with week­end homes in the area. This loose­ly-formed group rent­ed the coun­try club’s hall for the high hol­i­days, and gath­ered for occa­sion­al Shab­bats in their homes. They had a spir­i­tu­al leader — a won­der­ful young woman who flew up once a month from Flori­da. But the medi­an age of the coali­tion was prob­a­bly around 65. I should have known when we were invit­ed to a screen­ing at Bea and Sol Schwartz’s house of Mel Brooks’ Blaz­ing Sad­dles”. Not that there was any­thing wrong with that — but it wasn’t for our young family.

We then moved on to a Reform syn­a­gogue about a half hour from our home. I enrolled Jacob in Hebrew School there, and we attend­ed ser­vices — but, after a child­hood steeped in Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, it was hard to find a com­fort lev­el in a ser­vice con­duct­ed entire­ly in Eng­lish, with occa­sion­al out­bursts of Lai, lai lai. Time marched on. I won­dered if we would ever find a home as Jews in Con­necti­cut. I con­sid­ered the idea of round­ing up the hand­ful of Jew­ish chil­dren and hir­ing a tutor to come up from the city — but that seemed both expen­sive and some­how lone­ly for them. We need­ed com­mu­ni­ty. I had always tak­en the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty around me for grant­ed — but now, now that it was prov­ing hard to find, I want­ed it more than ever.

Dani Shapiro’s new mem­oir Devo­tion is now avail­able. Come back all week to read her posts for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing. She’ll be read­ing at Franklin Park in Brook­lyn next Mon­day night.

Dani Shapiro is a best-sell­ing nov­el­ist and mem­oirist and host of the pod­cast Fam­i­ly Secrets (now in its sev­enth sea­son). Her work has been fea­tured in The New York Times, The New York­er, Vogue, and Time. She has taught at Colum­bia and New York Uni­ver­si­ty and is the co-founder of the Siren­land Writ­ers Con­fer­ence. She lives in Litch­field Coun­ty, Connecticut.