Phone: (917) 699-1284

I didn’t know I was a “Dirty Jew” until I was told I was

I grew up in Lynn, Mass. Went to public elementary school- Brickett School. Looking back, at age 7 I was color blind , and I was in the minority being Jewish. My friends were Irish= Catholic, African-American, Armenian, Jewish ,rich, poor and middle class.

One day leaving my school to walk home, David Spinney began chasing me, yelling “dirty Jew” to me.  He began throwing food cans at me and would taunt me in the schoolyard daily. I became in fear of my life, and that’s when the shame set in on being Jewish.  I truly did not know I was a dirty Jew until I was told I was.

Parents did nothing. Always in fear. To this day I don’t know how I got thru it all.  The Anti- Semitism subsided for me after a few years, but I was a changed little girl. Many years later it would rear it’s ugly head in a junior college I went to down south. Finding out that some of my friends had parents who were in the clan.  One day walking into my dorm room seeing a bloody bone dripping with blood hanging in my closet, and Limburger cheese melting under a light fixture smelling my entire room up.  The dean called a meeting of the entire school saying how this must never happen again.

So ask me why I became a Buddhist, an Interfaith Minister, have friends and lovers from all cultures and live in Harlem. And no longer feel like a “Dirty Jew”. It could have gone both ways for me. I could have become a raging racist, but somehow there was this spirit in me that knew life wasn’t about race, religion, money and all the labels we give one another.  It truly was liberating when I released the shame of the Dirty Jew in me.

And ask me what it’s like to feel different and embrace it and make it work for me.

Bookmark and Share

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 15th, 2012 at 2:26 am and is filed under Friends and Colleagues, publicist nyc. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “I didn’t know I was a “Dirty Jew” until I was told I was”

  1. Bruce Stewart Says:

    Sherri, Just heard about all your grand achievements from Joel Sherman!!! What a series of wonderful accomplishments! Never knew about your experience in Lynn and certainly regret learning about it. So very sorry that you had to deal with such indignity – and at such a young age! Keep sailing and soaring!!! I have a magnificent and lovely wife named Andra Jurist from New York who happens to be Jewish. We both send our care and good wishes! Warmly, Bruce Stewart – a Lynn boy 99 Walnut Street, #402, Chattanooga, TN 37403 423-386-5120 Come say hi if you ever get down this way! Best in 2013!!!

Leave a Reply




  • Google Plus Link
  • Twitter Link