Having a tough time mentally/emotionally in regards to this issue. I have 2 daughters, in 6th and 4th grade. We live in a very non-Jewish school district. My kids are one of less than ten Jewish kids in their grades of about 200 kids. When we moved here 8 years ago I wasn’t totally sure how to feel about that, but I wasn’t really concerned it would be an issue. We belong to a synagogue and I hoped my kids could make more Jewish connections there, and have friends from different places.
There were a number of factors that made us choose this township: affordable homes (we couldn’t afford a lot of surrounding pricier areas), our neighborhood is really cute (kids always playing outside and modest but nice, well-kept houses), down to earth, not a keeping-up-with-the-Jones type town. I honestly don’t gravitate towards Jews in my friendships, and have a lot of friends from different backgrounds. A lot of neighboring towns’ schools rank higher, are more expensive, and have a lot more Jews. I actually grew up in one. Lots of money, entitlement and mean girls. Thought we were making a good decision in avoiding that. Now Im not so sure.
We haven’t experienced it directly, but several incidents of antisemitism in our schools have surfaced recently. Many in the 6th grade. I’m not just saying this, but my kids are really nice, good kids- and it truly baffles me that they don’t have more friends. My middle school daughter is constantly left out. I feel like we don’t quite fit in. We’ve met nice people but haven’t found a ton of close friends as a family. I don’t know if it has anything to do with us being Jewish. There is a big sports culture here and my kids hate sports so they are often left out due to that. No one is outright mean to my kids that I know of. They just aren’t always included.
I thought having them in Hebrew school would help as an outlet, but it turns out they are the only kids from our district in the Hebrew school while the rest of the kids come from another district. So those kids come in with their friend groups from school not looking to include outsiders. Many are mean girls. So my kids are left out there too.
It’s very sad to me and I feel like I’ve failed my kids, and I’m stuck. We cannot afford private. My kids would be devastated if we moved. Don’t know if we could afford it anyway. Though they don’t have a ton of friends, they do have some. They seem fairly content. And at this age, I think they’d really struggle with a move. I don’t think we’d quite fit in with the wealthy crowd either.
On top of feeling this guilt, some of the few Jewish families we know in the district just went private. Their kids seem to be thriving and I’m jealous. I’m nervous about what is to come. If my kids directly experience antisemitism in school I don’t know if I will be able to handle it 🙁 it’s crazy to say but in my 40 some years of life, I haven’t experienced it. Never thought this would be a real issue for my kids. And it kills me that my daughters may have to experience it, and I feel like it’s my fault because we don’t make enough money to live in a different area. And even if they don’t…. I just want them to find their people. I worry that they simply won’t here and will have a lonely middle/high school experience 🙁
submitted by /u/bluegreen3713