15 Very Real Problems Only Jew”ish” People Will Understand


I am Jewish. Well, I’m Jew”ish.” Meaning, I am technically, religiously 100% Jewish, but grew up in an incredibly reformed household. No temple, no Torah reading, no celebration of every single Jewish holiday unless it’s one of the grand slams (Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Larry David’s birthday, etc). Growing up Jew”ish” is the only way I’d have it, but it definitely granted me a fair share of awkward scenarios along the way.

1. You’ll never truly fit in with the Jewish kids. They’ll like you and you guys will try to build long-lasting friendships to no avail. Your lack of Jewishness will always weigh heavy on their hearts; therefore, being fully accepted into their crowd isn’t a reality. It’s not your punim – it’s them.

2. Because of this, you will for sure have more non-Jewish friends and acquaintances than the average Jewish person.

3. And, because of that, you will become the token Jewish girl in your group of friends. Which is kind of awesome because it’s like “Oh, we already have a Jewish friend. Sorry. YA CAN’T SIT WITH US.”

4. Everyone will assume you had a Bat Mitzvah and be shocked and slightly confused when you tell them you didn’t.

5. People will ask where you go to temple. You’ll be like, “Nowhere.”

6. If you don’t look Jewish, people will scoff at how not Jewish you look. “No way. You’re Jewish?” Yeah. I am. Schmuck.

7. Upon learning of your Judaism, other Jewish people might express Hebrew phrases to you and you’ll be like “Yes? No? I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR’E SAYING. OH GOD! I mean OH ADONAI!”

8. Dating Jewish. I almost don’t know how to explain this. Basically, most super Jewish men aren’t going to be interested, and if they are, they might inquire if you’re willing to become more Jewish. The only Jewish man I’ve ever entertained actually asked me: “So, are you interested in learning more about Judaism? Are you open to it?” Code for “There’s no way in hell I can marry you unless you answer ‘yes,’ but I will absolutely take a few more BJs in the interim.”

9. Because you’re just “ish,” people will assume it’s cool to make low-blow Jewish jokes around you about money, cheapness, etc. Worse yet, they’ll throw the word “Jew” around casually. Guess what? NEITHER IS COOL. DON’T DO IT.

10. When you do celebrate major holidays, like Yom Kippur (fasting for 25 hours straight), your friends may not take it seriously, sending you “are you dying yet?” texts. You will feel weird smiling at it when you shouldn’t even be on your phone that day. You’ll also run errands during the 25 hours, because you’re not sitting in temple all day observing. I mean, whatever. You needed to go get your dog some treats and fill your car with gas. Shrug.

11. Since you’re the token Jewish friend in your group, all Jewish-related questions will be directed at you, and you’ll embarrass yourself consistently with not knowing the answer. And when your non-Jewish friends do know the answer and show you up? Oye vey.

12. Christmas. You celebrate it. Your family always has. People are blown away by this. No, you don’t go to church or praise the heavens. It’s about the spirit of the holiday and presents (duh). But the fact that it’s almost a bigger deal to you and your family than Hanukkah automatically makes you an outcast in the Jewish society and confuses the hell out of people.

13. And, no – your family doesn’t have a tree.

14. But your mom may or may not have a collection of tree ornaments put away just in case you end up marrying a non-Jewish man.

15. Regardless of all this, you are Jewish and one of the chosen people. So basically, CAN’T TOUCH THIS.

Shalom, y’all!  


featured image – Facebook – Emma Golden