A Different Perspective

I am a Religious and Jewish Studies major at the University of Texas. I have always had a strong interest in religion and Jewish communities at home and abroad, which encouraged me to go on the trip to Hungary and Romania. After the trip I can say that some of even my most concrete opinions on Judaism and its communities have changed. I used to think of Judaism in the world as just being in the US and Israel, fully understanding that there were other communities across the world but never actively thinking about them. Additionally when I thought of a big community versus a small Jewish community I thought of communities like New York versus Waco, never abroad.

After visiting two European countries and just a small portion of the communities within them I can now see that my outlook has been flawed. The majority of Jewish communities and the people that comprise them do not live in such tolerant and ideal communities as those in the US and in Israel. While in the States and in Israel people are often convinced on why they should continue to be Jewish, this is a stark contrast to those in Europe who are often fighting just to practice their Judaism. If we want to ensure the continuation of Judaism we must also ensure that Jews abroad can have the same safety practicing Judaism as we do. This is a perspective that needs to be pushed and taught more often, and one that I am grateful for obtaining.                 

- Will Hall, Junior, University of Texas at Austin

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March 28, 2013 at 8:34 PM




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