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.