My Experience With Jewish Anti-Semitism
-By Jennifer Stallman
I am fortunate to have both my Grandparents still here with me today. What breaks my heart is that they are still so deeply affected by their past. Both of my Grandparents were born in Poland, and both escaped Hilter and the Nazis. Although they did get out of Poland before the Nazis invaded their town, they both endured years of hell and a lifetime of pain. My Grandfather Zeev lost both his parents and all of his siblings, leaving him with only one Cousin behind. My Grandmother Ella lost both her Parents and was separated from her siblings for many years. My Grandparents came to Canada from Israel, with nothing in their pockets, and had to build a life for themselves without the help from families.
My Grandparents had four children and my Grandfather built up his own business. Throughout my life, my Grandmother would always tell me how lucky I am to have Parents. My Mother told me she used to get jealous when her friends would all tell her stories about them spending time with their Grandparents. These are little things we take for granted.
I wanted to give you a little piece of my family history, before I tell you about the Anti-semitism I have experienced throughout my life.
I started my school years at a full day Hebrew School in a bubble from the real world. When I was 10, my parents put us into the public school system. I went to a very multi-cultural school, and although I made a lot of amazing friends from all different backgrounds, I still experienced racism there. Two kids in particular had said some hurtful things. One yelled a derogatory word in anger, and one told a Holocaust joke (that he probably heard from his parents at home) and repeated it at school.
For highschool, I went to a predominantly Jewish school and I was back in my secluded bubble. It wasn’t until I went to College, that I would experience prejudism again. One Woman at school would make snarky comments to me that I am rich and my Daddy gives me everything I want. I eventually couldn’t take it anymore and I decided that rather than blast her, I needed to educate her. She was so ignorant that it was sad. She was a mother, and I could only imagine what she told her children. I had to literally explain to her that not all Jewish people are well off, and that they are not all Lawyers. After that talk, she left me alone.
Today, I have dabbled into the blogging and social media world. Sadly, even today I am still experiencing racism. I have been called “White Privileged” and I’ve been the target of Jewish Jokes because my blog is about saving money. Those things I can over come. What really makes me ill is the Jewish jokes and memes that are circulating the internet.
Have you ever searched the internet for Jewish Jokes? When I am searching for Jewish jokes, I am looking for silly “Jewish Call Your Mother” type jokes. What comes up, are all horrible jokes referring to Hitler and the Nazis. It makes me cringe so bad, that these are even allowed to be up on websites.
It scares me that my own children’s children, will never know a Holocaust survivor. This is one of the reasons why I send them to Hebrew school. I want them to grow up knowing who they are, even if it means having to defend themselves along the way.
If you have experienced any type of racism, you are welcome to share it in the thread below.