My life, in my words…

Noon With Nova… part 3

Messages from a Jewish Grandmother to her Granddaughter

Hi bunchkie.

Be aware of the insidious levels of antisemitism. 

Educate yourself on the history of the Jews…yet live every day in the present; as antisemitism is everywhere…and you must have knowledge to face it, fight it, and end it in your lifetime.

Sometimes you may find it easier to brush it off with a : “they didn’t mean it…”

I strongly encourage you not to let it pass…I forbid it actually.

Be Loud in this instance…stand proud and educate…do not walk away and give that free pass…that is partially what got us here in 2021…

There are a plethora of antisemitic tropes…and they have not changed throughout our long history…

As I was asked questions, you too will be asked questions from your peers throughout school , work, and every facet of your life. Take the opportunity to use this as a tremndous way to change the way Jews have been viewed…in some very disgusting and negative ways.

Many people you will meet have never met a Jew. This will happen more often than I would have you imagine. I work with more than one person well above your tender age of 6, who have told me I am the first Jew they have ever met…

At school you will always be in the minority, lest you choose a Jewish Day School…so get ready for: “How do the Jews celebrate Christmas…?” I used to brush it off with a joke…we go to a Chinese restaurant…We DON’T celebrate Christmas. We happen to have a minor holiday around the same time as Christmas…it is not the birth of the supposed son of G-d…it is the celebration of the win of a war….and is not to be equated with Christmas…I have always felt it is best talked about when studying ancient history…that however, would be inconvenient for those wanting to seemingly include Jews in the Christmas season…and conveniently making it look inclusive…while ignoring every other major Jewish Holiday.

It’s okay…you don’t have to include us…most times I am offended to see a menorah with 8 candles in it from Thanksgiving until the day after New Years Day…not how it is supposed to be. Celebrate your Holiday…and acknowledge our major ones…give us the days off from school and work….do not schedule major events…learn the major holidays …schools especially need to start early…Just freaking keep religion out of the  public  schools…It is not the 1950’s…I don’t want  to come in with potato pancakes and a Dreidel…

You will find as you venture through school there will be many events that conflict with your beliefs and holiday timings….Speak up…Yes, you want to be included…how about we do it on Easter Sunday? See what the response to that is…

I was told as recently as the year 2001:” You’re the Jew, you figure it out.” This was when your mom wanted to be on the Pop Warner dance team and I asked if the High Jewish Holidays were excused absences…let me tell you Charlotte; Pop Warner dance is not preparing anyone for the New York CIty Ballet…and yet: nope, not excused…you’re the jew…you figure it out…

I am the least proud that I walked away from this and never reported it…I let your mom join.

Ask her the rest.

I believe it is a big open world…filled with antisemitism…I beg you to stand up…

You may fall in love with a person who is of other beliefs…and that is fine…DON’T let them minimize your history…teach them, and cultivate  respect. remember Kavod…the Jewish value…

I encourage you to figure this part out before embarking on a life with a significant other…

The anxiety of living with and loving someone who does not see you and your history will become quite uncomfortable…it is your responsibility to help educate them, it is their responsibility to listen with eagerness to learn.

In summary Charlotte…I want you to listen…listen very intently…and then Charlotte; I want you to be LOUD…very loud…there is no quiet when advocating for yourself…remember to have the knowledge…that will always be where the true power is…no Kabal, or Jewish lasers…Knowledge and the realization to not let history repeat itself…we are living, breathing Jews…and we will speak the truth…and change the patterns of antisemitism…from the Christmas Carol you will be asked to sing in schooll…to the major event on a Jewish Holiday…to your extended family who have no idea what Judaism and being a Jew means…

In your hands you have the power to reverse those 3500 years of antisemitism…Be Loud, Be proud.

From my heart with love, Nana

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