Marlee and Raegan Dyas

Marlee (22) and Raegan (18) Dyas grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. Attending a reform synagogue and a Jewish sleep away camp for countless summers, the Dyas sisters have always felt a sense of comfort in their Jewish communities. Their mother, who is Jewish, instilled Jewish values in their house since they were young.

“We grew up in temple, had our bat-mitzvahs, confirmation, went to camp. It was something that was so normal for us,” Marlee said.

Although both said they feel completely accepted by their Jewish communities, people are surprised when they tell them they’re Jewish.

“When everybody asks they’re always a little bit surprised and then the thing that kind of settles it all is when I say, ‘Yeah, I had my bat mitzvah too’ and they’re like, ‘Oh so she’s Jewish Jewish’ That’s kind of how it goes,” Raegan said.

Marlee and Raegan expressed how much Judaism has meant to them throughout their life.

“Being Jewish, I never felt I had to fit into a specific box. I love it for that reason,” Marlee said.

“I just felt connected, especially growing up in such a laid back Jewish community, I didn’t feel forced or pressured. Early on I realized I really liked Jewish values and it’s stuck with me,” Raegan said.