In second grade I was teased by two girls for being Jewish. In second grade I had “the talk” with my mother that some people wouldn’t like me, and might target me because of my ethnicity/ religious beliefs.

Throughout high school, college, and into my adult life, I experienced constant micro-aggressions. When people found out I was Jewish I got the “YOU DON’T LOOK JEWISH!” “YOU’RE JEWISH?” “YOU’RE TOO PRETTY TO BE JEWISH.” “SO YOUR PEOPLE KILLED JESUS?” “SO YOU’RE GOING TO HELL?”
And then when I was a sophomore in college, a “friend” turned to me at a party and said “go back to the oven where you belong.” 

All of this led me to hide my identity. I was ashamed to be Jewish and Israeli. When I told people I was Jewish I’d say “But I’m not religious and I don’t practice.” And most of the time, I would just keep it to myself out of fear, and shame.

But not anymore. I’ve realized recently that my experiences and the way I’ve felt is the exact reason I need to stand up for Jews just as I do for every other minority group in this world. 
It’s the reason I am now #owningmystar and speaking openly about what it means to be Jewish and Israeli. 

Listen — there are horrible people of all stripes but don’t let that define an entire race or religion. I refuse to “hide” who I am anymore — and I hope through my newfound passion for also highlighting my people, you all learn something about what it means to be Jewish too.

Source: Allison Norlian