Meet Jewish Gateways Participants Vanessa Litman, Alberto Perez-Rendon, and Saasil and Itzel Perez-Litman
Vanessa, Alberto, and their two daughters have a bilingual family, speaking both Spanish and English. Vanessa is American, Mexican, and Jewish by heritage, while Alberto is Mexican and Maya. They are glad to have found a place in Jewish Gateways' family learning program in which their family's diverse heritages are welcomed and celebrated.
Vanessa grew up in Fresno with an American Jewish father and a mother who grew up in Mexico and had converted Judaism. Alberto grew up in Mexico City in an indigenous family, surrounded by a very Catholic culture. Both of his parents were Maya, from the Yucatan.
Today Vanessa and Alberto live in San Leandro with their daughters Saasil, who is six, and Itzel, who is four. They are expecting a third child this fall.
Vanessa is a family physician at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland. Alberto is the director of programs for the Asociacion Mayab, a non-profit organization that provides services to Bay Area Maya immigrant families, promotes Yucatec Maya cultural values, and serves as a bridge between their community and various organizations and government entities.
Vanessa Litman and Alberto Perez Rendon with Itzel on Vanessa's lap and Saasil sitting between them.
The Perez-Litman family first connected with Jewish Gateways through our High Holiday services, and then became participants in our family learning program, Growing Together. Please watch the brief video below to hear them speak about their family's experiences exploring Judaism together.