I Am a Jew in America MAG

August 19, 2017
By Anonymous

I am a Jew in America.

My rabbi blessed me for the first time days after I was born. I began attending Jewish summer camp when I was 10, and have spent eight summers there. I stood upon the bimah and was b’nai mitzvahed at the age of 13. At 15, I joined Jewish teens from across the country in Washington, DC, to call attention to issues that Jews face.

Being Jewish is an essential part of my identity. I am proud of my religion and the community that comes with it. My life reflects this pride and communal support.

That said, I am aware of the history of my people. Jews have been oppressed for centuries. It may have been naive of me to think that history always remains in the past.
I am a Jew in America.

In today’s America, history’s hatred has bubbled back up to the surface. A racial slur was written on the bathroom wall of my high school. A swastika was traced onto a car window in a local parking lot.

Jews and minorities across America are finding themselves in a new position, one where these views and beliefs that everyone had blindly hoped were dissipating are being displayed with their own sense of pride. Those who have this hate inside them are bonded together by a different community, a community of hate.

How are Jews like me supposed to react?

One can only hope that peace will rise again and overcome these unsettling times. As a Jew in America, I know it is my job to promote healing and condemn this hate before it spreads like wildfire. But that is not an easy task. I am one of a small group, vastly outnumbered.

I am a Jew in America, and I am scared for what is to come. 

The author's comments:

In light of the recent events in Charlottesville and across the nation, I felt compelled to share my personal experience and opinion on our current social and political state. 

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