When my younger sister, Grace, took up Israeli dancing a few years ago, I was thrilled. What could be better than the blending of Jewish culture with exercise and socializing? She initially encountered and took her first lessons during a summer session at BCI, and upon returning home, immediately began dancing two nights a week with David Dassa and a motley Jew crew. Her new friends had names like Orly and Lior, and if I'm not mistaken, there were a handful of Sara(h)s and Rachels and even an Ezra. Grace regularly demonstrated her newly learned moves to me, dancing to burned CDs of her favorite songs in our shared living room. "Yemenite left and pivot turn together," she'd chant as she danced, still something of a novice. One day, in the course of a conversation about the latest goings on with her "dance" friends, she mentioned that a girl she'd become especially friendly with–one of the Sarahs–had said something befuddling while the two were shooting hoops. For the past few months, they'd been attending Friday Night Live together. Now Sarah wanted to know where else my sister attended services.
"At our family temple," Grace had replied. "Temple Israel of Hollywood. What about you?"
Sarah had clammed up, slightly, and then brought herself to say, "Ahavat Zion. It's a Messianic shul. You should come with me, sometime."
"Oh," said Grace, because she didn't know what else to do.