“We understandably become so preoccupied with Jew hatred…that we’ve forgotten to explore what we actually are”

Anti-Semitism is undeniably on campuses — even at some elementary schools — and along with the subtle and not-so-subtle occurrences comes the obligation to stand up and condemn them, and prevent them from happening again.

I could give you a whole slew of examples, many of which you are likely to be somewhat familiar with, but this is the very problem in Jewish life today, particularly among young college students.

We understandably become so preoccupied with Jew hatred — preoccupying ourselves with proclaiming what we are not — that we’ve forgotten to explore what we actually are.

We are so involved in damage control that we’re failing to give ourselves and our children a positive Jewish identity.

I worry about a generation of Jews whose closest association with Judaism is fighting anti-Semitism. Although it is certainly a noble preoccupation, it’s hard to imagine taking Judaism into adulthood, cultivating good feelings — joyous feelings — of being a Jew if we are exploring only how terrible it is to be picked on.

Anyone in a thriving business knows that with all the PR in the world, and all the successful attempts to clean up Yelp pages from negative reviews, without a really good product, you have nothing.

Rebbetzin Shula Bryski, “What We Are, and What We Are Not”, Jewish Journal (19-25 June 2015), 10.