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In other words, “there are multiple dimensions upon which I might experience a person as ‘us’ or ‘them,’ ‘same’ or ‘other,'” said Abby. Another minority person might feel ‘same.’ Or someone might feel, depending on the social criteria, very ‘same’ on certain levels and very ‘other’ on others.” The young women attributed feelings of “sameness” to a range of experiences and identities: “Anyone at college who identifies as religious, even if their religion is different.” “Someone of a different minority culture who’s really committed to that, intellectually and emotionally.” “If you have a complex understanding of sexuality.” “If you’ve converted and you care about being Jewish, that’s ‘same,’ but if you’re nicely acquiescing and going through the motions for me, that’s ‘other.'” “Israel is a big part of my identity, as is Hebrew–that feels ‘same.'” “Liberals–a no-brainer.” As for “other”: “The idea of a God-given Torah feels ‘other’ to me.” “Orthodox experience in which women are spectators.” “Anyone not living with white privilege, or living with food insecurity, or truly living in poverty–they’re ‘other,’ but I don’t like to confront this.” “As someone working with the poor, they don’t feel ‘other’ to me, they feel ‘same,’ but I acknowledge our differences.” “Jews who don’t identify as Jews.” “Homophobes.” And it gets complicated and paradoxical.“With Jews on campus, I couldn’t davven with my full voice–because I was one of the only voices–and they weren’t a group that I could talk through my spiritual practices and decisions with.Tali added, “Even in the context of Jewish summer programs, I’ve experienced such a huge gap between me and the other Jews in terms of practice and knowledge.Since high school, even when I’m with Jews who’ve opted in as Jews, I’m so often the ‘resident Jew.'” Third, they said I’d be surprised to find that it’s largely seen as racist (or otherwise discriminatory) for a Jew to want to date or marry only other Jews.Every year millions of passengers travel between 4,000 locations using Hahn Air tickets.It has recently occurred to me that “normative” Jewish-American experience lasts exactly one generation.
(“Orthodoxy is totally not an option for me,” is how Tali put it.) What I wanted to get a bead on mostly, though, to be honest, was something that struck me as a radically shifted generational experience, the fact that all three of my informants, despite trenchant Jewish identities, are currently in, and/or have recently been in, long-term romantic relationships with non-Jews–and they are also consonant with the idea of someday marrying partners who are not Jewish.They and their siblings all, for example, married first-generation American Jews from Trenton, New Jersey–how shtetl is that?–and WWII and the Holocaust breathed down on them in a way that was not true for me.She described its “being hard to find other Jewish kids to feel Jewish with.