Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guest Post: Do born Jews dislike socializing with converts that look like “Shiksas”?

My blogreader friend who has written some of the recent posts about dating is saving me from the choice between letting the blog slip and school work in this time of "one last push" as I strain to make sure I do as well as possible this semester when I suffer from senioritis making it difficult to study. So, anyhow, she was kind enough to write up this nice long guest post which I will be posting in chunks spread out until it's posted.

Do born Jews dislike socializing with converts that look like “Shiksas”? Part one

I realized something very odd the other day. I know plenty of converts, most of them women. I've heard that 90% of converts are women, I don't know where that statistic is from, but I would not be surprised. Of the converts that I know are married, most of them met their husbands prior to or during the conversion process. In other words, they were gentile women when they began dating their husbands. When they converted they were accepted as full fledged Jews, even if not Orthodox practicing, they quickly got married escaping the hell of shidduchim. The few women that were already converted, I noticed a trend, the women had features that they could pass for a born Jew. Those few were fortunate to have conversions that didn't drag out for years and years and they were able to convert shortly after or during (heavily discouraged now) college so they did not miss out on prime dating years. I know in two cases, the women had Jewish fathers, but in the others, they just happen to have physical appearances that they didn't stand out. For a short time, when I first came into the neighborhood, I did dye my hair a dark brown would hoping it would help, but of course it doesn't change the rest of my physical features.

Insert from Michal: With the exception of Hillel friends, most of my Orthodox friends are converts. When I put my survey up on my Facebook, it was the convert friends who jumped in ready to help out. It was their convert friends who offered (not did after being asked) to status the link to my survey. The converts immediately had my back. As for 90% of converts being women, I believe this to be true. When I was taking conversion classes for a brief time at OZ, it was mostly women who were in the class. Also, when a man came, I had no way (well rudely asking people I don’t know which isn’t my style) to know if he was in the class or coming for “shiksa that he’s bringing in to Judaism.” I think it’s more that born Jews grow up with their friends and don’t really seek out new friends. Being older, I don’t know so many Orthodox born Jews my own age. Most of them are married and so their lives are all about their husbands and kids and maybe work. They socialize with other mothers, not single girls. When they do socialize with single girls, it’s usually girls with whom they grew up. I also kick myself for having not dated during my process. No matter what they SAY, I saw that they didn't do it that way they those who dated were hurried along.


  1. This was so funny...I wish it would've posted all together as opposed to by parts b/c there's too much suspense about it.

  2. For how long have you taken classes at OZ? it says "briefly" so i was wondering if that meant a year or just a few months? thank you.

  3. I took for maybe 2 or 3 months back in 2008.

  4. Though I made one friend from there who stayed with them for over a year and she said the same, mostly women. Also, this is what I meet, women converts. Normally, women are more drawn to religion than men, I think.

  5. Thank you. Can I ask you-- what did you think about the OZ's Rabbi A.S.? i met him not long ago.

  6. He spreads himself too thin, but maybe he's well meaning... In general, I felt weird. Most of the girls were the types with the make up caked on and stuff, what I call "done up" girls, with maybe three exceptions....

  7. how come you only went a few months, if i did the math correctly you converted soon after going to OZ? on the OZ app. it says to attend the class for a year. did you also meet with an OZ rabbi for once a month or you had a diff rabbi? when i read your previous posts you noted that there was a conv. Rabbi who wasn't giving you any feedback, was it from OZ by any chance?

  8. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    Socially isolated? Maybe this is a New York thing. And it is true that a lot of young Orthodox Jews hang out with the people they went to school with.

    Come to Israel. ladies. I know it's an easy advice for me to give, harder to follow through on, but no matter how blonde you are, Israelis will only think of you as American Jewish.

    Everybody assumes my blond kids are Russian, in part because their group of friends includes some Russians whose parents became frum before making aliyah. Sometimes they guess thatmy kids are Tripolitan, because the Jews from Tripoli. while Sefardic, run to blond.

    Plus the religious Zionists, imperialistic as they are, get a huge kick out of the incoming of the Diaspora and the nations coming to Hashem.

    Also, Israelis love blondes. Only in Israe would my hair have been even remotely considered blonde.

    It never ceases to amuse me that I look more "Jewish" than my red-blond burn-and-peel husband, who is the image of his Uncle Reuben and his Grampa Shopsie.

    I am so sorry that you are made to feel excluded or "different". You're not any more different than anybody else. I wish you good husbands and beautiful, Hebrew-speaking chldren and grandchildren.

  9. I had three rabbis total. OZ was in the middle. I went to there because of the first rabbi who didn't give me feedback. The last one someone else recruited for me. She stopped being my friend after I converted and wasn't interested in the 50+ year old bald fat uneducated barely English speaking immigrants hoping she would matchmake them into a green card whereas, I would be the "lucky" bride.

  10. So with OZ you had a better experience overall? thank you.

  11. Anon, I think if you want to discuss this Email me.

  12. I'm guest poster.

    Very interesting, when I was out of town, I was encouraged to move to NYC since there were more people. In NYC, it was try this or that neighborhood and I've moved around. Or go to such and such out of town place (often it is one that I've either lived in or visited regularly).

    Now I'm told to go to Israel. You're not the first. I'm very very cautious on this advice. I have always been open to dating Israelis provided they can speak at least some English since my Hebrew is lousy (I can daven and know how to say a few pleasantries but that's it). I do have dyslexia and learning languages is difficult--much of the $5000+ in classes and tutoring for conversion was for Hebrew instruction. My conversion was delayed significantly in spite of my having verified learning issues. Do understand my difficulties in not being fluent in Hebrew is NOT due to my own laziness.

    Funny, the several Israelis I've dated each complained how they had lousy dating luck over the years they have been in the US (both in NYC and out of town). They weren't college educated, had menial type jobs (home care, delivery) that weren't attracting the girls they wanted. But I thought they were nice, hard working guys doing their best and around my age which as I mentioned is very rare for me to get a date and would have wanted to continue dating. Yet those guys were too good for a convert and wanted 'real' Jewesses. Or they claim to be OK with it and love converts so much, but their family would have issues.

    Understandably, given that Israelis in the USA don't like me, I would not want to relocate internationally where I know no one and don't speak the language just because I 'heard' it could be better. That's what people said about NYC!

    I'm giving up.

  13. It's funny how people say they love gairim, yet refuse to date us (or worst lie to us by telling us that it's their family that has the bias not them). I wonder how sincere their admiration for Ruth really is.

  14. Well folks can have highest regard for Biblical figures.
    Yet, in today, claim that 'that was a different time, today people aren't on the same level.'
    Or say that they must honor their parents since that's a biblical commandment (yet parents can't force one to violate a mitzvah which marriage is)
    Or that 'marriage isn't a chesed project' which I agree but since when does convert=chesed project.
    Or my favorite, why settle for someone who's just nice?

  15. Whilst it is true without doubt that the current ratio of females within the conversion process outnumbers men.

    I find it pathetic to think that one would refrain from socializing with someone based on looks/ethnicity.

    This isn't a High School popularity contest. You are Jewish.. period.

    A little diversity wouldn't hurt.