2018-05-23 / Letters

Not only Europe suffers from anti-Semitism

Regarding your lead story (May 9), “Will Europe’s Jews stop wearing kippahs? Most already have,” not only is European Jewry living beneath the shadow of overt and covert anti-Semitism but the same holds true for America as well.

There’s something sad about seeing many of our American youth wearing a kippah while visiting Israel. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not against them wearing a kippah; I am gratified by it. The reason I think it is so sad is because the vast majority of those same kids will not wear one at home in America other than when sheltered from the outside world. For example, they have no problem wearing their Jewish identity openly when going to synagogue, attending religious school or participating in a Jewish event, but wearing one in the general public, well that’s a different story.

Although we live in a free country, a democracy; a land where we celebrate diversity, yet when it comes to wearing our religious identity openly there seems to be a reluctance to do so. Granted it is not uncommon to see Jews wearing the Star of David, a Mezuzah, a Chai or a Hamsa in public, but it is not the same thing as donning a kippah. Those objects, which are worn around the neck, are ornaments that discretely declare your religious identity, while a kippah broadcasts it. A kippah proclaims that you are not only Jewish but that you are an observant one.

Forget Europe; let’s look closer at home: Why do you think that Jewish youth, and adults for that matter, are reluctant to wear a kippah in public while living in the freest country in the world, The United States of America?

Steve Wenick
Voorhees, NJ

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