A number of years ago, I was on the faculty at Bellevue Community College (now Bellevue College). There were a number of incidents that I encountered there that made me feel marginalized and dismissed because of my being Jewish.

At one point, the faculty organized a number of two-day seminars dealing with race. These sessions were almost always scheduled for Friday/Saturday times. I explained that this would exclude observant Jewish faculty from attending. I asked for a rescheduling and was told, "too bad." One year, the fall quarter began on Rosh HaShanah. I had to obtain early rosters of students and call each one to explain that I would not be there on that day. The administration was unwilling to make any changes to the schedule. These are only two instances of the omission of any recognition of anti-Semitism on the campus. There were many more.

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Oct 22, 2021Liked by Emily Alhadeff

In 2016 when my son was in 8th grade he was told by a few other kids in his math class that Jews should burn in the oven and Jews should go back to Israel. We reported it, the school responded, one of the parents called me and apologized. Honestly I was surprised that they said Jews go back to Israel and not Europe, or Jews get out of Palestine. I told my son, at least they got your country right.

I don't think we should be afraid to define ourselves as Jews. I have been told by non Jews my whole life how I should see myself and the Jewish people. Frankly I'm sick of it.

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I once was at the grocery store checking out. This woman came in looking for Hanukkah candles and the checker said loudly "Ethnic Foods, Aisle 9" - the woman walked away in a huff and the checker looked at me not understanding what the problem was.

I think the majority of American Jews don't see oursleves as an ethnicity. I think the majority see us as a religion, so if the checker had said "candles, aisle 9" or "religious items, aisle 9" - I think the woman would have been satisfied.

Rereading the definition, I guess I see us as an ethnicity, but I'm a bit uncomfortable about it. I can't point to why. I guess there is a tension between being "American" and "Jewish" and which is the primary identity.

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