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Living with the Host Majority

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Two experiences in the past three days remind me that we are so in the cultural/religious minority.

Seeing my hat, the barista greets me.

Barista: Hello Raa-bee?

{{Raa-bee?? Really?}}

FrumeSarah: It’s Rabbi.

Barista: Is that your name?

{{Come on…my name? Really??}}

FS: It’s my title.


While fixing my computer, the tech guy tries his hand at small-talk.

Tech Guy: So what is it that you guys do here.
FrumeSarah: It’s a synagogue.


FS: You know. Like a church. But for Jews.


It just gets so tiresome. Having to explain. Guess this is why Beernut tells people that his parents force him to go to “Christian” school.

Which is why I am such an advocate for JewCamp. Providing an environment where our kids are in the majority, rather than in the minority, is a precious gift.

Forty-one days and counting…

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 9:23 pm

    My mom calls it Jew Church.

    It’s all good.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:07 pm

      Oh my. Really?? Is she ready for this week???

  2. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 9:33 pm

    Yep – got asked by a friend “are you still really active at your church?” I just said yes, easier than explaining.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:08 pm

      Yeah, I usually don’t bother correcting people. There are times that I just don’t feel like getting into it.

  3. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 9:46 pm

    “Raa-bee… Is that your name?” Priceless. And who goes into a synagogue and says, “What is it that you guys do here?” I agree – it gets tiresome!!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:09 pm

      The computer tech guy who got a work order from his boss. That’s who.

      • Thursday, 27 May 2010 10:31 am

        I was being sarcastic… I knew it was the computer guy. The downside to blogging/e-mailing, etc. is that it can’t pick up inflection. 🙂

      • Frume Sarah permalink*
        Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:15 pm

        I was being sarcastic too 🙂

  4. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 9:47 pm

    A few years ago I was at Rite Aid looking for Hanukkah wrap but couldn’t find any so I asked someone working there where it was. He checked with his manager then came back and told me Hanukkah had been discontinued. I began explaining that Hanukkah was a holiday and was obviously NOT discontinued but then I just gave up.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:09 pm

      I seem to recall you sharing that story. Discontinued…harumph!

  5. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 9:53 pm

    How about commin’ over here and being part of the host majority?

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:15 pm

      Easier said than done. PC is not (yet) an ardent Zionist. He’s more like a beginning Zionist.

      One day… Bs”D

  6. Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:24 pm

    I have had some joyful discussions courtesy of the majority.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 25 May 2010 10:27 pm

      I can only imagine…

  7. Wednesday, 26 May 2010 3:32 am

    An article was recently written in a local newspaper about our rabbi who marked 20 years leading our congregation. He spent the entire day with him and went on to write a piece that described us as a church and not a synagogue. Even his editor didn’t catch it! Now, when reporters from secular papers come in to talk to us, we make it a point to say that these words are not interchangeable! At least we can make sure it is on public record and in the papers correctly – even if we have to deal with things like this in our personal lives.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:15 pm

      Wow. I mean…wow.

  8. JockBro permalink
    Wednesday, 26 May 2010 6:53 am

    Truth be told I always LOVED being in the minority. I relished opportunities to educate my friends. It made me feel like I was in on some great secret, a member of an elite club. I wonder as the girls grow up whether I (and/or they) will feel the same…

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:16 pm


      It isn’t that I mind being in the minority. I am just regularly shocked as to the cultural ignorance.

  9. Wednesday, 26 May 2010 9:04 am

    Amen about JewCamp. I love the description that Jewish summer camp is like Hogwarts. It’s where we realize that there are lots of other people *just like us* and that is an awesome feeling.

    All kids should go. Seriously. 27 days til my oldest is a CAMPER!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:17 pm

      It’s like Hogwarts. But with GaGa instead of quidditch 🙂

  10. clinicalamanda permalink
    Thursday, 27 May 2010 4:56 pm

    as a Jew in Utah – well, I hear you.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:18 pm

      I can only imagine….

      thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your thoughts 🙂

  11. Megan permalink
    Thursday, 27 May 2010 5:31 pm

    so excited to be going to camp with you guys again!! i can’t believe it’s so soon!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 27 May 2010 6:18 pm

      I know 🙂 Yay!!!

  12. Thursday, 27 May 2010 9:24 pm

    To bad there’s no JewCamp for adults… I’d be the first to sign up!

  13. Sunday, 30 May 2010 6:27 pm

    you handled yourself well in both situations. those moments can be, well– tiring i guess is the right word. my favorite experience with that? “so, what *do* you guys do for christmas?” *sigh* go jew-camp! 🙂

  14. Wednesday, 2 June 2010 12:31 pm

    I remember (from 40 years ago) how tiring it is to be in the minority. You have a choice though, one that our people didn’t have for 2000 years. Come home to Israel and you will be in the host majority.


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