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Once I turned thirteen, my dad gave me my chai as my bar mitzvah present. Throughout my childhood, I always saw my father wear his chai. I always asked when I would get my own and he said: “once you’re thirteen and become a bar mitzvah.” The necklace has two Jewish letters that spell chai, which means “life.” In the Jewish culture, at the age of thirteen a boy becomes a man.The necklace signifies the start of a new chapter as a man and brings new responsibility as one. My father presented me the chai and I’ve worn it everyday since my bar mitzvah. The necklace itself connects me to my Jewish culture. To me the necklace means more than just “life”, it also means pride. I wear my necklace with pride for everything my ancestors had to endure because they were Jewish.

Place(s): New York
Year: 1930

– AB

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant