which box should I check?

by Leah Bieler

There's been a fair amount of hand-wringing in the American Jewish community about why support for Israel is flagging in our community. But there doesn't seem to be the same kind of introspection coming from the Israeli side. In today's TOI I explore what it means to be the kind of person who never quite fits in.


“Among large sections of American Jewry, there is a real question today about how much Israel is home to them”
– Alan Hoffman, director-general of the Jewish Agency, speaking in Ha’aretz, 22 January 2018

I had to fill out a form recently for one of my kids. It asked whether said child was White, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American or Hawaiian. And, as is the case every time I encounter one of these questions and there’s no box for ‘other,’ I’m stymied.


Is this really worth bothering about? They most likely want to know if I tick off any of the enumerated ‘non-White’ categories, anyway. And while I’ve never experienced myself as White per se, I understand the privilege that I have. That I have benefited in so many ways by virtue of my not being seen as belonging in one of those ‘non-White’ boxes.


see more