From The SF Gate:
I want ask you about your personal story. You were born into a Jewish family. What sort of religious orientation did you have?
It was somewhat limited. We observed the Jewish holidays. I studied for my bar mitzvah and attended Sunday school. It was about being culturally and historically part of the Jewish people and then being a good person — that’s kind of the gist of it.
There is a phenomenon of many Jews becoming Buddhists, or “Jewbus” as they are called, especially here in the Bay Area. Why do you think some Jews are drawn to Buddhism?
I really don’t know. I do know that within my family and the community there was a great tradition of learning and understanding that is common among Jews. And I see the same love of learning and understanding among other Jewish people who have become Buddhist practitioners. So maybe that is one part of it.
Do you retain any connection to Judaism at this point?
Yes. My daughter was brought up learning about Jewish history and celebrating the holidays. She is also Christian from her mother’s side, so she was baptized at San Francisco’s Glide Memorial church. And we also lived in a Hindu country for a long time, so she has that influence as well.
When my daughter was younger, she was asked, “Well, what are you?” And she said, “Gee, I’m Christian and Buddhist and Jewish and Hindu” and some other things — I don’t know what else was in there. In her simple answer — she was like nine years old at the time — was a reflection that underneath all these different religions there is a commonality that at best involves treating one another with great care and respect based on love, virtue and integrity.