I grew up being the 'token' Jewish girl.
No, seriously. Everyone says that, but I really did. Here, let me out-token you.
I grew up in Foxboro. Yeah, where those Patriots are. The only Jewish kid there (I think there was one other family, so that was nice). My brother and I ended up leaving the public schools after some incidents of swastikas popping up on his locker and him getting beaten up a bit.
Then we moved over to a charter school. Mmm, slightly better. But just slightly. Still some swastikas, still some assholes deciding to 'Heil Hitler' when we walked around. Kid stuff.
Then there was the time I had my Bat Mitzvah and the synagogue was defaced with half a dozen more spray-painted swastikas. And of course, they did it on a Friday so there was nothing we could do about it (Jews are not permitted to 'work' on Friday and work can entail a whooooole long list of things. For some, turning on a light switch is work. For me, dragging myself out of bed is work but there is really no Rabbi I can get to work with me for banning that on Saturday mornings).
Anyways, I ended up switching to an all girls Catholic school for high school.
Talk about being a token.
But it was great. Because for once in my life, I didn't have people yelling at me on the playground about how I had killed Jesus (true story). Instead, I just had people asking me why I had killed Jesus. Big difference.
But truthfully, it was a big difference. There was less hate, and most of the 'dumb'/mildly offensive questions and comments came from a place of ignorance rather than a place of hostility and hatred. Which really does make a difference.
But don't get me wrong. Being a token has it's perks. Like for instance, getting holidays off of work and school.
Like today starts the Jewish holiday of Passover (if you want to learn more about this holiday, I suggest renting the Prince of Egypt. It is about 58% historically accurate, but the songs are great so it's a win-win for me). And because I am getting my MSW, everyone at my school is super P.C. (politically correct) Which is great because finally, for the first time in gosh... sixteen years of schooling, I get my holiday off- no hassle AND no questions asked.
Like, no "Well you are going to need to make up this work and do some extra homework assignments". And no explaining to the headmistress (yes, I went to school at Hogwarts) that my strange sounding holiday was real and I wasn't trying to just get the day off.
It's a breath of fresh air. Truly.
So with that I leave my fellow tokens and minority Jews, with a "Hag Sameach" and have any easy fast.
!בשנה הבאה בירושלים