Under the subject title listed above, a friend of mine sent me a link about Olympic figure skating champion Oksana Baiul. In a recent appearance on LateNet with Ray Ellin at the Gotham Comedy Club, Oksana shared that her Jewish heritage had remained unknown to her until she was an adult, but that she was happy to learn about this aspect of her heritage.
Oksana is, of course, not the first to discover her Jewish heritage later in life; fear of persecution caused many Jews to subvert their cultural identity. It is this same persecution--pogroms, the Holocaust, and other atrocities-- that sometimes makes it difficult to trace one's Jewish heritage back very far. What is one way people are remedying this situation? They are turning to the internet! JewishGen is a Museum affiliated site that serves as a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history. It has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible. If you are interested in learning more about your heritage, it's definitely a cool site.
Oh, and if you find out you're related to Ms. Baiul, might I recommend a pair of these. Winter Olympics are coming up in two years people and you don't win the gold reading a blog!