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The Slippery Slope of Jew-‘ish’

All my life, I was informed it was not ok to be a Jew or identify as “Jew”. However, it was the only national identity I had. I was a Stateless Jew, born to a Stateless Iraqi mother and a soon to be Stateless Egyptian father. Stuck in Japan for 20 years, my parents were my “country” and Jew my “nationality”. My nuns in International Catholic missionary schools didn’t mince words. Intransigent Jews (like my 13-year-old self) would not only “never see God,” but we would be victims of persecution until we gave up being Jews. Later in life, as a 20-something new immigrant in my dream-come-true America, my best friend, a Brooklyn born Jew directed me to stop using the word Jew. “Say Jewish” she d

Rachel Wahba is a writer, psychotherapist, and co-founder of Olivia Travel/Companies. An Iraqi -Egyptian Jew, born in India, she grew up in Japan. 

The many dimensions of 

displacement and exile are a constant theme in her work as a writer, therapist, and in her activism as a Mizrahi Jew who grew up stateless. 

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© Copyright 2015 Rachel Wahba Writer, Speaker, Psychotherapist