North Atlanta’s Jewish Student Union: A Place for the Silenced Minority


Alexis Lubow

Unsilenced Voices: Sophomore Olivia Granot, juniors Macy Margulius and Matan Berg, along with sophomore Blair Rubinger are all members of the North Atlanta’s Jewish Student Union, a club where members can explore and celebrate their religious and cultural identity.

The silent minority: a group that’s Influential in effect, but not necessarily substantial in numbers. For North Atlanta students who are Jewish, the reality of attending the city’s largest high school as a minority is a struggle to find both acceptance and identity. Judaism is an ethnic religion that has been around for thousands of years. It is a religion that has been exiled, abandoned, and looked down on but that still remains strong today. At some point, oppression seems to be highlighted in the media for all sorts of minorities.  Seemingly, all minority groups are getting recognition, but the awareness for modern day anti-semitism is being forgotten. 

Jewish students at North Atlanta have experienced anti-semitism but even more common is the ignorance. An anonymous junior at North Atlanta said, “Being Jewish today affects my perspective of the world a lot. It tends to favor people in suppression, but not necessarily minorities. I think the world is uneducated about the suffering we have been through, so we don’t get enough recognition and support.”

Stereotyping seems to be at the root of the prejudice towards this specific minority group. Preconceived, uneducated notions against any group of people, not just Jews, are the primary source of targeted hate in the world today. “Being open about my culture and religion does come along with others’ hatred,” said sophomore Blair Rubinger. “People have told me things along the lines of ‘shut up you’re a Jew.’ Or will take Holocaust jokes a little to far. These anti-semetic comments are exceedingly offensive and personally can make me feel ashamed of my culture, when it is something I should be proud of.” 

The suppression of Jewish identity in a larger culture is something that can be heavy for Jewish adolescents, particularly young people who are already navigating the choppy waters of their teenage years. It can be hard to open about a Jewish identity when there are so many voices invalidating it. Dealing with anti-semetic comments is something that Jewish students at North contend with all the time. There’s a feeling that students have a target on their backs simply for practicing the religion they were born into. “It’s not fear. It’s the inability to feel heard and understood by people who are pretending to care at all,” said sophomore Olivia Granot. “They do not listen. The stereotyping, harassment, and ignorance continue.” 

However, this unique experience guides Jewish teens to maintain their strong identity and to keep a strong of ethic unity. Experience leads to intelligence, and intelligence leads to change. “My Jewish values guide my ability to determine what is right and what is wrong, but mainly, they fuel my determination to help repair the world – Tikkun Olam.” said junior Matan Berg. 

The silent minority speaks volumes.