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Reclaiming Our Intelligence
Marilyn Robb

November 11 & 12

Knowing our

December 2 & 3

Raised-Poor Oppression,
and Belonging in a Jewish Community

For much of my adult life I have been searching for a way to “belong” to a Jewish community. I am seventy years old and have not yet found a place for myself in the many synagogues and chavurot (groups of Jews practicing Jewish holidays and other bits of Jewish religion and culture) that I have frequented over my many years. I “of course” have blamed myself for this and thought that I was being “too picky” or “too critical.”

Today in a session with one of my Jewish Co-Counselors who is also working class, I had a re-evaluation. It became clear to me that this was not “my failing,” that classism plays out [is acted out] within Jewish communities. It has been my internalized raised-poor oppression that has made me think that I can’t say anything about it or even ask allies to help me think about it.

Just as I, as a white person, had not realized that working on racism was crucial for my own re-emergence, middle- and owning-class Jews may not yet have understood that working on classism and reaching for raised-poor and working-class Jews will free them from patterns that make them oppressive to their own beloved people.

I look forward to making my Jewish community into a place where I know that I belong. This will mean working more on my internalized oppression and also taking a direction to help my beloved middle- and owning-class Jewish brothers and sisters get rid of their classism.

Marci Stern

Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of Jews

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00