Re: [Cz-L] czernowitz-l digest: October 22, 2014

From: Shelley <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:11:05 -0400
To: Sylvia de Swaan <>
Reply-To: Shelley <>

It is not uncommon to remember the fears of our parents or our
childhood fears. But we must go forward without shame or fear. My
mother moved to a part of Florida that was not predominantly Jewish.
So, around the holidays, she asked the local supermarket chain,
Publics, if they could order certain foods for the holidays. She
never hid her religion even when she and my father joined the
(Christian) Polish Club. My parents would dance and eat there and the
priest who attended loved to talk to my mother about all kinds of
things. Everyone was nice to her because she was a nice person. We
must not live in fear. Not today. I wear a Jewish star wherever I
go. At work, it was assumed that I wasn't Jewish because I don't have
a stereotypical Jewish face and my last name is Mitchell. I always
corrected anyone who said I wasn't Jewish. I always had a Menorah in
the Window at Home and near my desk at work. The fact that there was
more Christmas decorations at work didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed
trimming my Christian friends' trees. They had Christmas; we had
Chanukah. We both exchanged gifts. Sylvia, you said you never
experienced anti-Semitism. But you are afraid to be known as a Jew.
Be strong. There are ways to approach people who just have not
experienced us. There are still people who never met a Jew. It's how
you approach them that will determine how they react to you. Let them
see you as both an individual and a Jew. It's been many years since
anyone looked for the horns on our heads. I apologize if it sounds
like I'm lecturing you. I'm just trying to be encouraging and
positive. I hope you will take this in the right light.


On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 6:20 PM, Sylvia de Swaan
<> wrote:
> I agree with Cora ...NYC is an enclave, where many nationalities and
> ethnic groups coalesce and tolerate each other....and there are others
> - but by and large the US is a Christian society with unabashedly
> Christian values. You just have to listen to the rhetoric of the right
> wing of the Republican party, who are not especially interested in
> extending rights to "others." I live in a small post industrial city
> & though I personally haven't experienced anti Semitism - I'm an
> artist, a well known person in the community who mostly associates
> with intellectuals & liberal people. But for example, my local Barnes
> & Noble has big displays of Xmas cards, but when I ask after Chanukah
> cards, the sales person gives me a look, like why should we... & in
> certain environments I don't feel entirely comfortable announcing too
> loudly that I'm Jewish.....
> Sylvia
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Received on 2014-10-25 07:53:52

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