A 24-year-old Jewish Upper West Sider helps run the most important Arab-American organization in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, home to 35,000 Arabs.
…The alleged criminals seem to have had the same thought I did when I filled out my now-deceased grandmother’s application for reparations years ago. The details of her story were true: She spent 26 months incarcerated in the Minsk ghetto, managing to escape a month before it was liquidated and her parents and maternal grandparents were murdered. But as I considered the application’s thin verification requirements, I thought: How easy this would be to fake.
So I did.
My family practices a kind of compensatory Judaism… Their support for Israel borders on the fanatical: Next fall, my 57-year-old father will use his two weeks of vacation to volunteer in the mess halls and warehouses of the Israeli Army; my mother has kept her menorah lit well into January. (It can’t hurt.) My parents are like the animists of Brazil or New Orleans: Their blend of the pagan and Abrahamic disturbs only the purists on either side of the fence.
I am a purist.
The hyperactive Jewishness of New York has never been a relief to me.