This I Believe

Shahked - south san fancisco, California
Entered on December 19, 2007

This I believe

Going into middles school and even up to now was and has been difficult for me because my religion is different from most people. I am raised Jewish while almost everyone is raised Christian or Catholic. The difficulties I’ve faced are when people find out I’m Jewish they would make rude comments or jokes. That’s why not a lot of people know I’m Jewish. I believe that I shouldn’t have to hide who I am because of people.

Growing up and going into elementary school for me was different. My family and I had just moved back from Israel and I didn’t know how to read and write in English. Starting in kindergarten my parents would come in and teach the class about Chanukah. We would light candles, eat latkes and my dad would teach them the story behind it. My parents did this every year until fifth grade. It was fun and the teachers enjoyed it, I thought the students did too but I guess not all of them did.

In middle school, I didn’t want a lot of people knowing I was Jewish because of how they would react or what they would say. I thought that the people I grew up with would understand but no, most of the boys were I knew would be the ones saying the rude comments. I don’t understand how people can be so rude and not open minded to other religions and races. When people hear my name and ask “Where does you name come from?” I would just say “I don’t know” or not even answer them. I hat having to hide who I really am but I’m scared of what people will say.

High school isn’t as bad as middle school was. I still don’t tell a lot of people that I’m Jewish. I still sometimes hear people say rude things about Jewish people. I saw this happen in my history class sophomore year when we learned about the Holocaust. People felt sorry but then some people would again keep saying rude comments. I sometimes feel like the people form the Holocaust when people say things against Jews. I feel like I don’t belong here and that I’m very different from everyone else. But inside I know I’m just like them. I believe that I shouldn’t have to hide who I am because of people.