It is a familiar story of Sephardic Jews in the Americas, one that continues to challenge the central narratives of the American Jewish experience.
The El Al security officer’s dark gaze bored into mine, then flicked over the middle name on my passport. “Shay. That’s Arabic, isn’t it?”
In a town full of Jews, our identity was a contradiction. As Latinos we were exotic, yet as Jews we were part of mainstream.
By most accounts, I am not a self-hating Jew. Yet I sometimes keep quiet about my identity.
There is a European identity. Instead of kids feeling alienated by being away from home, my son’s school encourages the sense that they’re all part of one community.
After Gal Beckerman diagnosed the ‘pathology’ plaguing American Jews, we invited Forward readers to prescribe solutions. Here are seven of your responses.
Gal Beckerman spent four years as opinion editor of the Forward. Above all, he got to know firsthand the gut-churning, fraught, panicked and uncomfortable state of being an American Jew today. Here is his diagnosis.
Naomi Zeveloff was always told that her name meant ‘son of Zevel’ in Russian. Then she moved to Israel, where it has a very different meaning.
For more than 100 years, Jewish immigrants to the Holy Land have been Hebraizing their names. But unlike other immigrant trends, this wasn’t about assimilation. It was about autonomy.
What kind of place is West Virginia for an aspiring young Jew? Turns out, for Marc Bailes it was perfect. There, in a shul of 10 people, he found his Jewish identity.