White AND Jewish is challenging too.

Katherine Kraff
Denver, CO

I tend not to take negative comments about (race), religion or ethnicity personally (esp from children), but when I was teaching High School and didn’t take the day off on a Jewish Holiday (most of the other Jewish teachers and children did), my colleagues and students alike assumed that I was not Jewish (& with blonde hair/blue eyes and no NY-ish accent, I don’t necessarily fit the ‘Jewish-looking’ or ‘Jewish-sounding’ stereotypes). So it saddened me that over the course of the school day, I heard several anti-semitic comments from a handful of students and even one faculty member.

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One Response to "White AND Jewish is challenging too."
  1. Heptgb says:

    I’m a blonde, blue-eyed Jewish woman too. My mother’s side of the family is Jewish, but she married my father, a non-Jew. In fact my father is one-half Native, one-half white. This has always been challenging for me. Since I do not practice and do not “look Jewish”, acquaintances and coworkers have said antisemitic comments around me too. Even my own family members on my father’s side of the family have partaken in “Jew bashing”, only for me to remind them that my mother and I are Jewish. This usually results in them saying that I am too sensitive. Stay strong, and always remember that it’s perfectly ok to call them out on it.

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