Why Am I So Scared To Tell People I’m Jewish?

January 30, 2024
Hanna Lichtenthal

Boca Raton, Florida, United States

Class of 2026

Read more from this author →

If a year ago someone asked me if I was Jewish, the immediate answer was, "Yes, and I am proud." But now, the answer isn't as easy.

When someone asks me about my religion, I need to assess their tone. Is it condescending, sincere, maybe? Are they asking because they are genuinely interested or want to know if I am a target? I am afraid to tell people I am Jewish today because of what I see happening to my brothers and sisters in Israel even though I live in a predominantly Jewish city in South Florida.

Many of my neighbors and classmates share the same religion as me. But in other schools, I've been hearing about fights and threats amongst my peers over the issues in Israel. I am scared to tell people I am Jewish.

It shouldn't be like this. I should be wearing my Star of David proudly. I should be able to repost Jewish infographics on my social media without the fear of being targeted. When can it be safe to let others know I am a Jew again?

Hanna Lichtenthal is a BBG from Boca Raton, FL, who loves editing and photography!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox