8 Things That Happen When You're The Only Non-Jew In A Jewish Friend Group

8 Things That Happen When You're The Only Non-Jew In A Jewish Friend Group

Being the Goy is never easy.

As you may or may not know, Binghamton is a predominantly Jewish school. I for one did not know this until I looked around and realized all my friends were Jewish. Going to Catholic school my whole life, I never really found myself in this situation before. I may have missed out on a lot but I'm making up for it all now. Here are all the things that happen when you're the only Gentile in your friend group.

1. Everyone is speaking Hebrew.

This happens a lot and you’ll feel extremely left out. You can always do what I did and learn the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph Bet, to be specific); it throws everyone off when you start singing it over their conversations. You'll start to pick up some words if they talk slowly enough, but you will never be able to keep up.

2. Friday nights are usually spent doing nothing.

Waiting for your friends to come back from Chabad or Hillel and then staying in while everyone keeps Shabbat. This is one of those moments you realize you need to get a more diverse friend group.

3. You know a lot about the Jewish religion.

You know all about the holidays and what they entail, even though they seem a little confusing. Your Catholic friends from home are both really impressed and a little concerned. The more time that passes, the more you learn and before you know it, you're probably fasting right along side them for Yom Kippur.

4. You’re the only one who hasn’t been to Israel.

Even the people who aren’t Israeli have been to Israel, and it makes you really sad you can’t talk about the awesome time you had in Tel Aviv, too. Your friends have probably tried to think of a way to get you on Birthright, but when all is said and done, you're just going to have to live the experience through pictures. Or pay a lot of money to go on your own.

5. You’ve been to at least one Shabbat dinner.

When your best friend is Jewish and you want to hang out with her on a weekend, you can bet you’ll be attending Shabbat. The prayers in the beginning are rather confusing because they're in Hebrew (see point #1), but as long as you stand at the right times, everything goes smoothly. Honestly, the food is amazing and growing up Italian, I wasn’t very fazed by the events at the dinner table.

6. When you meet another non-Jewish person, you instantly bond.

There’s something about being part of the minority amongst your friends that really brings people together. You try to do all the things your Jewish friends do with each other, like speak different languages and talk about services, but it’s really not the same.

7. You won’t be finding your future husband here.

Sorry ladies, but when it’s the mother’s religion that carries over, he’s only going to be looking for a nice Jewish girl to bring home to the family. Ask yourself, does he love you enough to be disowned by his parents? Probably not; sorry, sweetie.

8. Everyone asks you if you’re going to convert.

This question gets brought up weekly to me. At this point I’m sure most people already think I have converted. Yes, I know a few words and my accent can be pretty convincing at times, but I'm Catholic and I always will be. I’ve earned my title as an honorary Jew and I’m very proud of it.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter

I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.


One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

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Calling People Hateful Is Not A Productive Dialogue

Universities have become a breeding ground for intolerance.


The political climate is rough. I don't enjoy commenting on it because of how controversial it has become. Every once in a while, however, I come across something that rubs me the wrong way.

As I was walking through campus the other day, chalked on the side of a cement wall was a phrase claiming the College Republican club on campus was a hate group. I don't know anything about the person who wrote this statement or anything about the College Republican group on campus, but I do know one thing: this statement is false.

Universities have become a breeding ground for intolerance.

Just because someone has a different opinion from you doesn't mean they are hateful. There is room for disagreement.

A psychology professor of mine once said something that impacted my perspective toward both political parties: "Both sides think they're right, but both sides can't be right." Both sides make decisions based on what they think is right. A person's opinion is not "wrong" if it differs from yours. It's just different.

It's important to recognize that people won't always agree with you, and that's okay. That doesn't give you the right to call them mean or hateful. It allows an entrance into discussion. Besides, if you want to persuade someone that your belief is more accurate, name calling won't get you anywhere. It will only cause the other person to view you as inconsiderate and unwilling to understand.

How can you convince someone to believe you when you won't listen to their perspective? How can you expect people to listen to you when you won't do the same in return? Not only is it important to recognize a person's beliefs, it's important to understand why they believe what they do.

In order for people to engage in productive dialogue, both sides need to listen to each other and respect each other. Tossing labels around progresses nowhere and doesn't benefit anyone.

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