Alexandra Mastoropoulos Baltodano

“Growing up I spent every summer in a small beach town outside of Athens, Greece, called Kalamos. I would visit my grandparents and hang out with my friends all day long. I was the “little American” among them. Back in the States, I was the Jewish-American, but not in Greece. I never really brought up my religion because I knew there was some underlying anti-Semitism among some of the families of my friends. I went to Greece every summer starting as a very young child all the way through college. Those were truly the best summers of my life. Thanks to social media like Facebook and Instagram, I remain very close to my summer friends and I continually pray to bring my children to Greece to experience all that I love about it: the sea, the food, my family and friends. Culturally, I consider myself Greek. I speak Greek, I make Greek food, I drink Greek coffee, and I listen to Greek music. Religiously, I am a very proud Jew and zionist. I sometimes feel pulled in one direction over the other – but more often than not, the best of both worlds overlap from the strong ties to family, feeding those you love, and celebrating life. I have a proud and strong Jewish soul, but my heart is 100% Greek.”

– Alexandra Mastoropoulos Baltodano, Upper School English Teacher

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