READINGS: WestVirginiaVille Recommends
“Take It From a Jew From West Virginia,”
by Tamar Frumkin | Medium | Aug. 15, 2017
Twitter can depress easily, but can also reveal and point to poignant essays like this one, written by a West Virginia native who moved to Israel in her 20s. Written in response to this summer’s white supremacy march in Charlottesville, W.Va., the writer recalls her own run-ins with swastikas growing up as a Jew in the Mountain State. But she does not come to bury West Virginia: “Although our 24 hour news cycles, new Twitter trends, and endless spins on every story make it seem so hopeless right now, I’m here to tell you, that there is still much more light in the world than darkness, and more love than hate…”
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… Not that West Virginia is a hotbed for racism, because the vast majority of the community in which I resided was comprised of lovely, warm people. But there were a few rotten apples. And these rotten apples left their mark on me, and perhaps helped inflame the passion that led me to move to Israel in my twenties.
I often get shady looks or judgmental comments from others in my tribe when asked where I’m from. “There are Jews in West Virginia?” “Well one less now,” I respond through a forced smile. Having not been reared in New York, California or anywhere metropolitan, most can’t fathom that I could even exist. Yet, I’ve had to speak up and find courage in the face of anti-semitism more times than most Jews have to in this great country … | READ ON