This is one of my biggest pet peeves – I’ll admit it. I mean, I get that there are stereotypes and that those come from somewhere, but how one can look a religion?
The whole Judaism as an ethnicity thing bugs me – there are tons of ethnicities represented within Judaism, that to say it either overrides or negates those is ridiculous. My friends who grew up in other cultures while practicing Jewish are no less Jewish than I who grew up in a Conservative Ashkenazi household. Nor are the people who “look Jewish” more so than my blonde haired blue eyed pals (including my fab co-blogger, Jessica).
People often tell my husband he looks Jewish and I can’t help but laugh. He doesn’t look Jewish, he looks Spanish – because he is. However, because people know he is Jewish (the kippah is a give away!), his coloring and beard become signs of his Jewishness rather than his regional orientation which gives him that coloring.
People also often tell me I look Jewish. I look ambiguous. I am from a melting pot family. My brother and I look the same. His daughter looks just like us. We all look like my parents. Beyond that, its hard to determine much else.
Same thing goes for last names, btw. My maiden name was an Sch so people often made comments about it, and one of my great pleasures in life was telling people that “No, actually Sch— isn’t a Jewish last name. My father’s family is Dutch Methodists.” Some people would argue with me, while others would just shut down. Regardless, sometimes you just have to put people in their place.
So what do you think about “looking Jewish” – lets schmooze a bit on this one…