The most interesting part for me was being back in Washington Heights with my four-page typed printout of the racist comments that I’ve endured since I entering the Orthodox Jewish community two and a half years ago. Many of the comments, both subtle and blatant, were made while I was living in Washington Heights during my conversion. Some ignorant people carelessly make derogatory comments about the Dominican community, about non-Jews, and I would jump up to explain and defend.
The general thought we hoped the audience would walk away with was deep and just in time for Pesach. That Jews, the bearers of a tradition seeped in both privilege and slavery, should never forget where they came from and use the duality of their tradition to truly become a “light unto the nations.” Perhaps the answer to the anxious convert who asked me how the Jews having survived the Holocaust could perpetuate the evils of racism would find hope in the idea that some Jews haven’t learned enough to truly embrace their tradition but maybe this Pesach, they will.
Uri L’Tzedek is on Facebook at: Join the Group.
And once again, here’s the latest update of the story of taking my frum bathing suit out on the town: The Girl in the Wetsuit.