i am the only jewish person in my town

dear heather,

I’m Jewish in Jacksonville, Fl and believe me, it isn’t easy. Everyone here is anti-Semitic. They all hate me just because of my faith. How can I get them to realize that I am a human being, even though I don’t believe that Jesus is the son of God?

That sounds like a very rough situation. No one should ever hate you because of your faith. It is lonely enough to not have many other Jewish people in your town, but feeling that people hate you because of your religion is even worse.Here are some ideas to help you deal with your situation:

You can ignore everyone.
You can educate other people about your faith.
You can speak to someone about your problem.

If you go with the first option (ignoring everyone), you may be mighty lonely and that would not be good.

But sometimes it can be helpful to ignore people with very stupid ideas so you don’t have to deal with them.

Personally, I think it sucks when people discrimate against other people for any reason, be it gender, class, race, religion, or a disability. It can often become the responsibility of the person being discriminated against to educate the people who are acting so incredibly stupid. One advantage to educating other people is that it gives you the opportunity to show that you are much bigger than the situation and those people with narrow-minded, small ideas about the world. However, trying to educate ignorant people means you have to do a lot of work, progress can be slow, and sometimes it’s impossible to change people’s beliefs.

Do you go to Hebrew school or have any Jewish friends in Jacksonville? You could find some great support and ideas from other people who are in similar situations. Maybe your parents understand what you are going through and can suggest ways of coping? Is there a teacher or advisor you could speak to at your school or temple (if you go to one) about the discrimination you are feeling? It could help to get out all your anger or whatever or at least have some place to complain about the ridiculous people in your town.

People connect on many different levels. Many people of different faiths connect because they share interests in other areas of their lives. If you pursue the things that make you happy — playing a sport, joining a club, taking a class — you will probably find yourself connecting with Jewish and non-Jewish people who share in your interests. And sharing is a good base for building friendships.

take care,

Posted in: Being Different, Help Me Heather
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  • sg

    join usy! hanegev has is an amazing region and i have tonss of jewish friends from jacksonville!