Trey Kay Published

Us & Them: The Church Lady


I speak with journalist Linda K. Wertheimer, the author of Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion In an Age of Intolerance. In her book, she has a chapter titled “The Church Lady,” where she recounts her experience of her family moving from western New York to a town in Ohio. 

The Wertheimers were the only Jews in that community. Linda and her brother felt confused and ostracized when a lady came to their classroom each week to lead a class that felt less like social studies and more like Sunday school. Linda recalls all of her classmates singing, “Jesus Loves Me,” but she was the only one who didn’t know the words.


  • Linda K. Wertheimer is the author of Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerence. You can follow her work here.
  • Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of History of Education at UPenn. You can find more about his work here.
  • Paul Humber is the Director of CR Ministries. More information on their work can be found here.

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting and PRX, this is “Us & Them,” the podcast where we tell the stories about America’s cultural divides.
Subscribe to “Us & Them” on Apple Podcasts, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Share your opinions with us about these issues, and let us know what you’d like us to discuss in the future. Send a tweet to @usthempodcast or @wvpublic, or leave a comment

This episode is part of a series made possible with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

And if you enjoyed this episode, join our community and sustain “Us & Them” with a pledge of support.