Thursday, March 24, 2005

JUST A QUESTION

I work, most days, in a Cleveland-area suburb, substitute teaching. I've done it before, in the Cleveland school district, which was TRULY sucky. Subs in Cleveland are treated very badly, by both administration and students.

However, I've had no complaints about my recent sub experience. Both the staff and students are cordial and courteous, and I've had a great year.

One little thing that's been driving me nutty - I have a large number of Arabic students, and some of them seem obsessed with the question of Jewishness. As it happens, I am a Roman Catholic. When the first student asked, "Are you Jewish?", I evaded the answer. I didn't feel that my religion was pertinent (I teach technology and science).

But this has happened again and again. Between the freckles and the red hair, I generally have my correct ethnic identity (primarily Irish) guessed without error. On multiple occasions in the past, I've been assumed to be Jewish (always by Jews). I never thought much of it, just assumed that I must have reminded them of a relative.

I've tried asking the students why they think it's important to know. They always respond that they're just interested.

Am I being overly sensitive? Am I seeing anti-Semitism where it doesn't exist?

1 comment:

estarz said...

If arabic students are asking you...most likely its a case of Anti-semitism.

If you arent Jewish...let 'em know. Then tell them that there is no room for hatred against anyone...regardless of race or religion.