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There is nothing like seeing your kid singing Christmas Carols!

by Julia Bendis

December 17, 2010 | 1:47 pm

Wouldn’t you agree that there is nothing like watching your child singing Christmas Carols in a school performance?  I am sorry, let me re-phrase that.  There is nothing like watching your Jewish kid singing Christmas Carols, in a school performance!  Am I right? 

All the schools this time of year are putting on presentations, and plays about Christmas and the Holidays, but do the teachers take into consideration what that does to the Jewish kids in that school?  Or in my son’s case, the whole FIVE Jewish kids that are in the entire school? 
As much as we teach our kids about who we are, and where we come from, and what we believe, we also want them to fit in and not be outsiders.  Even if the teachers gave us the heads-up about songs that they will be performing, and give us the option to pull them out of it, would we?  Would I?  I am not so sure.  All we want as parents, is for our kids to feel like they belong, to fit in with the rest of the kids, and have good friends that accept them for who they are.  But, when you start pulling them out of performances as many parents do, what does THAT do to the child?  I truly believe that it only upsets the child, makes them feel alone and unaccepted.  I put myself in their shoes, and can’t imagine having to sit out while all the other kids are up there singing their hearts out about a Merry little Christmas!

Having said that, if I don’t pull them out of a Christmas performance, I feel awful.  As my husband and I sat there listening and taking pictures, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my Rabbi would say seeing my son up there singing: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!”  Oye Vay, what am I doing to him?
Just as I sat there pondering the meaning of being Jewish, the teacher announced that next they will be singing a “cute, and cheery song about a Dreidel”.  I looked at my husband and we both smiled, thinking oh good, finally!

It went something like this, and I am paraphrasing: “Oh, how I love to spin my Dreidel.  You can land on any letter, but please don’t land on Shin, because I will have to pay, be out of money and have to declare Bankruptcy!”  That’s when all the kids made the money signal with their hands.

Its not enough that we get stereo-typed as only caring about money, but they have to make the kids sing about it at a class performance!  I looked over at my husband and seriously thought he was about to pass out.  I’ve never seen him more pale or dumbfound…  When all the parents were clapping and smiling, all I could think was, I’d really love to have a chat with the person that wrote this wonderful song! 

What more can I say…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I was born in Ukraine, in the former USSR, and grew up in Riga, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea.  My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1989, right before the...

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