Being proudly and openly Jewish today is scary. With the recent terror attacks on Israel, seeing the horror Israel and her people are suffering is devastating. Jews have always been targets, and I fear we will be targeted even more now, even in suburban Philadelphia.

I don’t ever remember a time in my life when I’d gone to synagogue without armed security at the door. Being Jewish means there is always a target on your back. Growing up, no one at my school or in my neighborhood was Jewish, so I was always an outsider. I had to get special permission for excused absences from school during the High Holy Days because the schools didn’t have off for any Jewish holidays. I had to explain Hanukkah every year to my classmates, even though it’s not a major holiday, because they couldn’t understand why I didn’t celebrate Christmas.

I’ve always been so confused about how American Democrats support pro-Palestinian groups, which support and fund terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. When the American president gives Iran, a major financial backer of these terrorist groups, billions of dollars, how could people expect anything else? Both Obama and Biden have now sent the Iranian regime billions of dollars that have been used to murder Jews and Arabs in Israel. The same goes for the LGBT community. They will openly support pro-Palestinian organizations but if they were to ever go to Gaza, they’d be hanged and/or stoned to death for being who they are. Meanwhile, Israel has one of the largest LGBT communities in the world.

As a Jewish mom, I pass on the concept of tikkun olam (to care for/repair the world) to my children. In Judaism, we do mitzvot (good deeds) to bring light into the world and to help repair the parts that are broken. We honor people by doing mitzvot as well, to bring more light into the world. We do many things to accomplish this, from random acts of kindness to tzedakah (giving to charity) to volunteering.

READ MORE — Philly Sen. Saval condemns Hamas after his chief of staff posted support for the terrorist group

I’ve had many moments of fear due to being an openly Jewish woman. I teach my children to be proud of who they are and where they come from, but I’d be lying if I said that I don’t worry about them being bullied or treated horribly for being Jewish. Just today, there were parades in our very own Philly celebrating the massacre of Jews. Last time I checked, no other demographic has dealt with parades of people praising the murder of your people. Last time I checked, there weren’t any student organizations on almost every campus that promulgate hatred and wishes for exterminating a group of people except for the Jewish people. These are just a few of the things that we deal with on a daily basis. 

The extremist, terrorist organization Hamas does the opposite. I’ve seen, first hand, the propaganda they give and show to the children in Gaza to train them to hate Jewish people and train them to kill any Jew. They are born to hate and are used as pawns in the sick games Hamas plays. Women and children are literally used as human shields for the leaders and are forced into extreme poverty to be kept obedient when the leaders take it for themselves. The schools, hospitals, and private homes are used to store and launch rockets into Israel. Many of those rockets don’t reach Israel and kill their own people. 

If you’ve ever been to Israel, you know the real fear of terrorism that exists every day. The entire country is surrounded by countries who want them wiped off the face of the planet. Every Israeli home has a bomb shelter in it. Israelis know very well what a rocket siren sounds like and how long they have to get to a bomb shelter before the rocket lands. To some, it is unnerving to see soldiers on the streets of every city and at bus stops throughout the country with long rifles. To Israelis, it is a comfort. As Jews, we are comforted by knowing there are people on the streets to protect us. Most countries, like the United States, have volunteer militaries. In Israel, everyone is required to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces after high school. This means that almost every adult is capable and prepared to defend the people of Israel. 

In the West Chester area where we live, most people cannot imagine the horror happening in Israel or the terror that we feel wondering if our children will be targeted or worse. In this hypersensitive environment of inclusion, where are the Jewish Lives Matter signs? Where are the Israeli flags flying in support of my people? I wonder if my family will be safe or attacked. Is it safe to attend synagogue or a rally in support of Israel? These are not questions I should have to consider as a Jewish woman living in suburban Philadelphia; however, these are the realities for Jews here and all over the country.

Amanda Greenberg is a local Jewish mom, a teacher, and a candidate for school board.

12 thoughts on “Amanda Greenberg: Fear and faith — a Jewish woman’s experience in suburban Philadelphia”

  1. Amanda, Thank you for your article. A problem – not the biggest problem perhaps but a significant one – that expresses itself much like a symptom… is all the separate flags. Much as a sneeze both indicates a virus and spreads it, all these separate flags are a symptom of a larger virus, and they help spread it. Why do we need for example: a thin blue line flag, or a red thin line flag, for cops and fire fighters? We have a flag here in the United States. The star-spangled banner. There was a time when our culture leaders and school leaders pushed a melting pot and not a salad bowl.
    With respect, as these are sensitive and complicated matters, I disagree with your one statement: “This means, almost every adult is capable and prepared to defend the people of Israel.” The heinous terrorist attacks in Israel were partly possible because gun ownership is roughly 2% in Israel. You refer within your own article about armed security in the US at your place of worship. In the United States we have guns to protect ourselves mostly from the Government, but they help to protect against all the other monsters out there too. Think about becoming as well trained as possible in firearm safety. Voting and educating our neighbors is the answer; violence only helps the tyrants and hurts the innocent. Your family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. I completely side with Israel in this war. I saw the images. There is no other side. That said, if an American doesn’t blindly support the Israel government on every issue that doesn’t mean they are “antisemitic” and have a strong dislike for all Jewish people. To suggest that is manipulation. If I had a gay child I would worry about them being bullied because the Christian right treats them like they are sub human. Democrats have the backs of the civil liberties of American Jews. Why do you think Alan Dershowitz is a Democrat? Hollywood, the left, is run by Jewish Americans. Jared Kushner’s family are all Democrats. I just don’t like your tone that Democrats hate American Jews. That’s ridiculous. It is the Christian Republican RIGHT who want to force Christianity on your children. Democrats won’t let them. I stand with Israel in this war as does President Biden.

    1. Also, Republicans accuse Jewish people of controlling the mainstream media and harming America. Republicans latch onto “MAGA” Kanye West who tells everyone who will listen he hates Jewish people. Republicans love Mel Gibson who hates Jewish people. Republicans have utter contempt for Holocaust survivor, George Soros because he’s Jewish. I’m having a hard time figuring out why you claim Democrats dislike Jewish people when all the evidence suggests the opposite.

      1. I think George Soros is a threat to civil liberties and law and order because he founded Larry Krasner and similar DA’s throughout the country. I hate what he is doing to this country.

        I think you are deflecting and making stuff up.

      2. Nice try, Barb, but your leftist nonsense won’t fly here. BTW I’m sure you know this but Holocaust “survivor” George Soros turned in fellow Jews to the Nazis and has specifically stated that he has no remorse for having done so. So how do Democrats reconcile that? Just one example of the nonsense you spout.

  3. So the logical question to ask is why do a vast majority of Jewish voters in the US vote for democrats? This is the party of Obama and Biden. They send billions to Israel’s enemies. They support and are supported by the likes of Farrakan who openly seek the elimination of Israel. This is similar to the vast majority of the people of Philadelphia who complain about violent crime in the city but have for 50+ years voted for democrats for mayor, district attorney and city council. The same people who allow the violence to continue. Why?

  4. With respect to “Barb”. The words “Christian right” are DIVISIVE. Christians do not hate LGBTQ people nor treat them as subhumans, and we would not condone our children or grandchildren treating anyone that way. Many citizens, not just Christians, don’t want those issues taught in the schools. School boards need to enable teachers to focus on educating students in subjects that will help them prepare to have a productive life as adults. Christians do not force Christianity upon others. We believe in treating others the way we want to be treated. Christians don’t hate George Soros because he is Jewish. We don’t hate George Soros PERIOD. Christians (and many non-Christians) just don’t want him, or anybody else at the top whom we didn’t elect, forcing their ideology on our citizens. We all should be able to see the danger of that with “vaccine mandates” that were used to usurp the rights of employees, military and college students who were told to get the shot or lose your job or place at the school. Standing up for what is right is something we all are supposed to do and it is not “hate” to do so.

    As to Amanda Greenberg’s article, I say “thank you” for educating people on what Jews face on a daily basis. Ms. Greenberg is correct. We don’t see demonstrations from any other demographic group in this manner.

    On another note, please go vote in person on November 7th. Many are running for School Board positions. Vote for the people who have the values you support. This election is crucial.

  5. Ms Greenberg is spot on with her descriptions. But I would point out that antisemitism is systemic in American society and has been since the early 19th century. I recall reading some essays originally written by newspaper editors in the Confederacy during the Civil War, categorizing Jews as shylocks as portrayed in 17th/18th century English plays. This was to scapegoat a group for a lack of success of Southern armies. The 20th century saw animus against Jews become institutionalized in America. Clubs, Higher Education, Newspapers (It took the New York Times until 1950 before they actually mentioned the Holocaust as the Holocaust). Ms. Greenberg, you have cause to be worried. I also suggest you and your family become proficient in firearm use; you can’t expect help from your Neighbours in today’s society. By the way, I have been a lifelong Christian and during that time, through confirmation classes (three years, with homework) and many, many bible studies, I never once heard anyone call for Jews to be converted, attacked or labeled with the historical blood libels.

  6. Dear Ms. Greenberg,

    I ache for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. Just know there are many Christians in this nation, who support, pray for, and advocate for you. A ministry I’m aligned with has brought many Ukrainian Jews to the Holy Land to make aliyah (forgive the spelling), donated funds to build houses and meet other needs. Christians (real ones, not just those who wear a label) are the best friends Jewish people and the nation of Israel have. We come from the same roots. After all, Yeshua is Jewish.

    The hand of G_d is upon the Jewish people. Genesis 12:3 says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on the earth will be blessed through you.” Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.” Amos 9:15 says, “And I will plant them upon their land and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy G_d.” You are the apple of G_d’s eye. Those who come against the Jewish people and nation have stuck their finger in His eye, and He will not treat that lightly.

    You are in our hearts. Know that we love you, pray for you, and support you.

    Susan J. Reinhardt

  7. Amanda, I’m sure you know that the issue in the Middle East is not over territory. Hamas and its puppet master Iran have explicitly stated that their goal is to wipe all Jews off the face of the Earth. Hitler in Mein Kampf also stated that, and he also stated the reason–it is because Judaism is the source of ethics and morality. Of course, for most Jews it’s not practiced that way, but it still is is among most Chasidim here and the Haredi in Israel, and individual, non-brainwashed Jews like yourself. Morality is a obstacle for evil powers. BTW, most of the famous Jews, those in media, Hollywood, politics, etc., may have Jewish names, but are not Jews at all. This includes the politicians and the government of the State of Israel. This is the reason that the Haredi opposed an “official” Jewish state. They knew what would come of it.

  8. “Last time I checked, there weren’t any student organizations on almost every campus that promulgate hatred and wishes for exterminating a group of people except for the Jewish people.”

    …and white people. But full disclosure, they consider Jews white.

  9. This is probably the best, most factual take I’ve seen on the overall matter: “1. It is stunning to me how little most people know about the treatment of the Palestinian people. Over 2 million people packed into 140 square miles in Gaza. Robbed of their land and housing over and over. We’re talking real David VS Goliath sh*t here. David has been taking Ls for years. They are very desperate.
    2. What Hamas did is pure evil. Those responsible deserve whatever is coming for them. That does not justify atrocities against non-combatants. 50% of the Gaza population are kids. No joke. Remember that when you talk about turning it into glass.
    3. If you are unaware of item 1 above then you probably think their hatred of Israel is based entirely on religious dogma. It’s not. They are in an open-air prison with over 50% unemployment. They are destitute.
    4. Israel provides water, food and electricity to the Palestinians for the same reason Rikers Island does: control over the prison population. Don’t take my word for it, look into it. It’s awful. Calling it charity is a really twisted way of viewing things
    5. I’m not going to pretend to know what the long term solution for peace is. After the attacks by Hamas, I fear their fates are sealed. The IDF is likely going to flatten Gaza killing an insane amount of innocent people and dispacing a million more. I have no clue where they will go.
    6. I will never celebrate the death of innocents. To the thousands of people that have responded to me, describing paelestinians, including the over 1 million KIDS, as subhuman and worse: you’re sick. You need help. You make me fear for humanity’s future. Sincerely.
    7. I am still very suspect that the IDF allowed for this attack to justify what comes next. Idk for sure, no one does, but they need to answer for that security failure. It makes no sense.
    8. I have nothing but love for the Palestinian and Israeli people. For their governments, not so much.
    9. Above all I am a non-interventionist. America cannot win a world war. No one can as it’ll likely go nuclear. But America is in steep decline and this would be the end. I pray it can be avoided. This can escalate out of control so insanely fast given that there are 4-5 potential fronts already on the table. It risks the end of all life on earth, no exaggeration. People are way too flippant about what’s happening.
    10. Iran uses Palestine as a proxy. Israel attacks Iran at will. The CIA attacks every one of their neighbors. Islam does have a problem with radicalism. That radicalism is also understandable given what has been done to them. My belief is that the US needs to STOP intervening and let them all sort it out. Israel also has a problem with a supremacy worldview paired with a martyrdom complex. That complex is also understandable given what they’ve had to live thru.
    In short, everyone has some valid justifications for their actions. Also, everyone involved has committed heinous acts. It requires our better nature to shine thru if there is to ever be a lasting peace. Forgiveness is probably not on the table but dear god do we need to seek it. That is all I’ve tried to call for today…
    Peace and non-intervention
    and if you’re religious: prayer
    Love to everyone in harms way including my Israeli and Palestinian brothers. May you walk in God’s path and not one of vengeance.
    Lastly, the political class in America is undoubtedly going to capitalize on this trauma. They are going to use your sympathy to strip you of further liberty. Reject it. They will use your better nature to justify further bloodshed. Reject it. Do not trust them. The war on terror should’ve taught us all that lesson, please remember what they did to you when you were at your lowest. These people are evil.”

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