ALL THE TIMES PEOPLE THOUGHT I WAS JEWISH

  1. The rude cashier at Target
    She looked at my brother and I quizzically for a minute before saying "I just have to ask.... are you Jews?" Which like.... even though I'm not, seems like a rude way to ask that question.
  2. Every member of Jews for Jesus
    In high school I worked weekends and summers at a Bible Camp/Christian retreat center, and twice a year a big group of Messianic Jews came for their fall and spring conferences, walking around camp I would regularly get mistaken by their leaders as a member of the group.
  3. The President of Drake Hillel
    I was on Honors Student Council at Drake with Caitlyn, but hadn't ever really talked to her. After a meeting one night she made a beeline for me as I walked out and spent the ten minute walk across campus telling me all about how cool Hillel is, and what a great opportunity for networking and really getting involved with my culture. Finally at the end she asked if I'd consider coming and I was like "oh... I mean, it sounds cool but I'm not Jewish". It was awkward and she walked briskly away.
  4. The Muslim lunch lady
    I walked up to the burger station at my college's dining hall, grabbed a bacon cheeseburger and started walking away. The Somali cafeteria worker didn't speak any English, so sort of yelled "no no no" at me, eventually beckoning me back, had me lift the bun, she pointed at the bacon, at her hijab, and at my curly hair, and made a gesture asking if I could eat bacon. While I'm not Jewish, I deeply appreciated her looking out for someone with her same customs, even if a different religion/identity
  5. The Rabbi of Chabad Rockford
    I attended an event Chabad put on, where one of the Israeli Olympians who survived the Munich terrorist attack was speaking. I spoke with the Rabbi afterword and he asked me to get coffee that week. I assumed it was cause of my job (at the time I was a Field Operations Director for a gubernatorial candidate), but after we talked for two hours he said it's his goal to get coffee with every Jew in Rockford, and started asking why my family isn't involved with the Jewish community at all.
  6. The Campaign Manager
    As mentioned above, I was hired as a Field Director for a campaign for Governor of Illinois. During a strategy session in Chicago I met the campaign manager, and he asked me if we could get lunch that day. I said yes of course, as he didn't ask any of the other dozen Field Directors. At lunch he asked if I'd consider some additional work and a small raise to be the campaign's official liaison to Jewish groups across the state.