Editor's Note: This is Part 3 of an ongoing series in the Memories of Levittown column where early Levittowners remember their religious education.
Karen Biro Hewson, class of 1960
Unfortunately, I really didn't have a religious education in Levittown. I tried the Levittown Community Church, but I never really found any kind of an attachment to it. Rather bland.
Before moving to Levittown I was a regular attendee of the Steinway Dutch Reformed Church in Astoria. I started going there when I was about six - Sunday school, then regular church services. I was pals with the pastor's daughter and much to his chagrin spent quite a bit of time at their home playing noisily on the front porch while he was trying to write Sunday's sermon, and running up and down the church aisles in off hours. There was plenty of room to run and no one usually bothered us.
It was quite a social church - trips to Lake Ronkonkoma, Christmas pageants, Strawberry Festivals, great fun. So all I can say about my Levittown religious education is - there wasn't any.
Jon Buller, class of 1961
What I remember about my religious education growing up in Levittown was that it was extremely confusing. The primary reason for this was that my mother was Christian (Methodist) while my father was Jewish.
And to add to the confusion, my mother had some degree of real, if shallow, religious belief, while my father, although he was ethnically Jewish, was a hard-core atheist. So I not only had to reconcile my half-Christianity with my half-Jewishness, but my half-belief with my half-atheism.
Over the years, I think I have pretty well worked out the childhood conflicts that I felt about all of this. But I still utter a little “Aha!” of satisfaction when I read about someone and find out that they are, like me, half Jewish, and I immediately add them to my list. I’m not sure why I keep this list. Maybe it makes me feel less alone in this situation, as I often felt in high school.
Larry Bory, class of 1960
My folks were Presbyterians and unfortunately the only church was on Wantagh Avenue in south Levittown. It was a part of my life that no one at school knew about since no DAHS friends went to that church.
Warren Zaretsky, class of 1960
I learned early on that there is no god and that religion is "the opiate of the masses." I also learned that religion is the root cause and irrational justification of personal irresponsibility, authoritarianism, intolerance, hatred, greed, torture, murder, wars, genocide and mass murder. The only good thing to come out of thousands of years of organized religion is Friday night Bingo.