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My Story

My Jewish journey began over 10 years ago, when I was studying English, Creative Writing, and Environmental Studies at Emory University. I grew up in a reform home on Long Island, New York and began college thinking that Judaism had very little, if any, place in my life. Still, I applied to go on a Birthright trip with my friends because, why not? And I was rejected! Who gets rejected from Birthright?! I know now that it was all part of G-d’s plan. I ended up on a more religious trip to Israel, where I learned Torah in the mornings. Unexpectedly, I was blown away by the depth and relevance of Jewish wisdom. But was I going to be Orthodox? I grew up thinking Orthodox Jews were archaic.

modern jewish girl jenna maio podcast blog jewish
modern jewish girl jenna maio podcast blog jewish

I spent the summer after college in Israel at Neve Yerushalayim, where I continued learning Torah. In the fall, I began law school at the University of Pennsylvania. In between law classes, I continued to absorb as much Jewish wisdom as I could and grew in my observance. That being said, my journey was, and continues to be, a slow and grounded one with ups and downs, struggles and inspiration. 

After law school, I went back to Israel, where I clerked in the Supreme Court of Israel and learned Torah at Midreshet Rachel v’Chaya. That year, in the holy city of Jerusalem, I was fortunate to meet my husband Justin. 

After we got married, we moved to Los Angeles, where we lived in the wonderful Pico-Robertson community. I wrote my first book, “Princess Without A Crown: Returning to My Jewish Roots,” which was featured as a serial in Ami Magazine and details my Jewish journey up until that point. 

When the Coronavirus made working remotely possible for us, we decided to pursue our dream and spent two years in Israel deepening our Torah learning. We now live in Florida, where I am a proud wife and mother, writer and speaker. 

modern jewish girl jenna maio podcast blog jewish
modern jewish girl jenna maio podcast blog jewish

I created this site so that I could continue to share my Jewish journey through the written and spoken word. I love to share deep, beautiful Torah wisdom and discuss how we can integrate these amazing ideas into our lives. Of course, this work can be challenging, and I don’t shy away from that either. 

In sharing the real beauty and challenges of my Jewish journey with you, I hope we can learn and grow from each other.

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