A few years after my bar mitzvah, our rabbi disappeared. He was supposed to attend Simchat Torah celebrations, but instead, an interim rabbi was shaking hands and leading songs. I was Jewish by culture more than by creed, attending Shabbat services and youth group only for special occasions. So after my rabbi left, my family changed synagogues, and I didn’t give much additional thought to him or religious education.
Now, my older son is approaching the age where I’d like to start introducing him to Jewish life, and my atheist Christian wife, who has agreed to let me raise our children Jewish, frequently and reasonably probes me on why I change the subject every time she asks about my plan.