Profound Moments: Twice Asked “Are You Jewish?”

September 20, 2011

by Carl Schneider, presented at 09/16/11 Shabbat service

 I have lived comfortably in immediate communities that were significantly or overwhelmingly Jewish. My boyhood home was in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. It was so Jewish that I remember going to elementary school one day to find that there were no other students. The custodian told me that it was a teacher in-service day because it was a Jewish holiday and no kids were expected. I assure you it was not one of the High Holidays, or one of the other biggies like Passover, when even my non-observant parents knew to keep me home. I think the day in question was something like Lag B’Omer or Tu B’shevat. As a result, I have had very little personal experience with overt anti-Semitism Despite my comfortable surroundings, I have always felt that being Jewish separates me, as part of a small minority, from the larger society. Read the rest of this entry »