Proud to be Jewish

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My religion and heritage haven’t always been accepted.

Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with hateful comments, bullying and prejudice that follows being Jewish.

I never felt like I could be proud. I never was able to understand the hate.

Since Trump’s presidency I have seen multiple hashtags on Twitter for different religions, races and groups of people.

Saturday night, I saw one labeled #JewishPositivity. I scrolled through my phone reading the stories of people like me; stories of how they’ve overcome hate and bullying.

I was inspired to do the same.

Everyone was posting four photos of themselves and sharing why they were proud to be Jewish.

I searched through my phone, scrolling picture after picture trying to find the perfect four photos to share with this group of people I suddenly felt a connection to.

My thumbs danced around my phone keyboard searching for the right things to say, a few minutes later I finally posted it

Three minutes later, I deleted it.

I wanted to be proud. I wanted to post it. But I couldn’t.

I was scared of being judged and just plain scared.

Unfortunately my fears of violence and hate came true, in my own city.

This afternoon I was notified that someone fired a round through the window of the Evansville Temple Adath B’nai Israel.

Stories like this that need to be talked about. These stories are the reason why we have the hashtags.

I regret deleting that tweet. I regret not joining in and standing up for my rights as a Jewish American.

We are in a time where every minority is being targeted, Mosques are being vandalized, graves are being destroyed, people are having their rights stripped away from them and it’s horrifying.

I can honestly say I never thought that we would have to turn to hashtags to prove a point that everyone deserves equality.

But I can say that next time, I won’t be fearful for standing up for my religion.

Next time I will be proud.

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