I am not a Jew. I am Jewish.

I am Jewish and I hate the word “Jew.”  It sounds like a label…. “He’s a Jew.”  Do we refer to any other sect of people like that?  Krauts, Ruskies, Blacks, etc.?  No.  They are referred to as Germans, Russians, African Americans, etc.  Basically, they are all referred to as adjectives not nouns, thus describing them and not labeling them.  Yet for some reason “Jew” remains.  Do you say, “She’s an Italian,” or, “She’s Italian?”  Do you say “He is a Japanese,” or, “He is Japanese?”  The noun version “Jew” also sounds so much harsher than they if are “Jewish.”

I heard a news report once that stated “Jews are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.”  They got it half right with the “Jewish New Year,” but why didn’t they call us Jewish people instead of Jews?  Try looking at it like this: I am a Jewish human being.  There were a couple of guys in my high school who would make fun of me and other Jewish people.  Those guys never used the word Jewish though, they would always focus on the word Jew.  They sensed there was something about that word that sounded harsh, labeled people and made them seem less human and more of a thing.

Unfortunately, many in the Jewish community still use the word.  When going to Hebrew school (not Jew school), we were taught life lessons and ways to act; those who acted well were called “good Jews.”  That’s probably why it sticks around.  I just don’t like the way it sounds.  I am going to send this request to Jewish organizations too.  Thanks for understanding and not using that word any more.  I am Jewish.

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