Life on Jewish Shores

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By Amit Shilton

I’ve spent most of my life living in a bubble. Whether I was in a Jewish private school or public school, I was always surrounded by mostly Jewish friends and the Jewish culture.

So, when I was one of the only kids from the neighbourhood coming to Ryerson, my parents bought me something that would always remind me where I came from. I got a massive, silver Star of David necklace.

I saw it as something that would set me apart. I thought it was important to “represent.”

But, I didn’t wear it once.

When I got to Ryerson I realized that there were other things that helped me represent my culture more than a piece of jewellery. I quickly saw that for the most part, people at Ryerson were cultured, understanding and accepting.

Looking at Italian Ryerson students’ reactions to the new TV craze Jersey Shore, I feel like I can sympathize with both sides.

On the one hand, it’s easy to understand students who don’t want to be stereotyped into a set of character traits featured on a ridiculous reality TV show. On the other, there are students who understand that the characters portrayed on the show are simply extremes. They shouldn’t represent an entire culture, but at the same time it shouldn’t be ignored that these types of people are out there.

Even though there is no Jewish Shore, I think it’s important to be able to poke fun at myself. Within a close group of friends who truly love and understand each other, I’m fine with being teased about common understandings and misunderstanding about Jews. Like everything, I think a healthy sense of balance and humour is important. And if you don’t agree, then we can battle it out on the dance floor.

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