I was in the shul Sunday to help record some music but stumbled into our oldest Hebrew school kids learning some davening skills and getting familiar with some things like tefillin and tallis and the order of service.
It was a little choppy, but they were getting a chance to get used to how a morning service runs and more importantly time to stop it and say why. At one point I mentioned Hebrew and how the siddur I had in hand also had English in it, which I use on my own more often, but stressed that while we live in an English world it was important to get used to Hebrew.
The ability to travel anywhere in the world and find yourself in a place of relative comfort walking into any Jewish religious service can not be fully expressed, only experienced. Knowing that you don't just have an extended family in your own community but all across the world is a comfort in uncomfortable times.
The night before I was talking with our board president. She was lamenting her kids detachment from any synagogue life. They ranged from the early 20's to the early 30's and so I said, well, they might reach a point where they want it. I asked about their schooling and they had Bar/Bat Mitzvot although it was a fight at times and there was some question about the event really happening! One went on to finish Hebrew school, the other wanted nothing to do with it after 13.
Our President went through conversion, she elected to become a member of the tribe when she was married and commit to a Jewish family. Intermarriage is quite common, conversion sometimes, sometimes not, but she said one of her children gave her a hard time during this process saying, "Your not really Jewish...you converted." It's just as childish when adults say this as well.
I was standing with floundering children before the arc all born Jewish without a clue as to how to do Jewish.
We are all made Jewish, by our intentions and our actions, we all have to choose Jewish, moment to moment every day.
Everyone is Jewish by choice, everyone.