Are We Jews Or Americans First?

One’s faith and one’s nationality are aspects to a person that lend one insight into who that respective person is. But for those of us that are a part of am yisrael in particular, the question of whether we pledge our allegiance to the community that comprises our people or that of our country, is an especially important one. One that is certainly worthwhile exploring.

This particular point has been a subject of considerable discussion and debate by scholars in our community. Are we Jewish first, or are we Americans first? I, Nadia Kiderman consider myself a Jewish American, as opposed to an American Jew. And for me, in light of my background, this distinction is of great importance.

I was born in Moscow and came to America along with my family during my childhood years. I will forever be indebted to America for welcoming us with open arms, and for affording us the opportunity to strive and realize our full potential. When we came to this country, my parents worked tirelessly to instill Judaism in us; to ensure that our pride in our Judaism would not dissipate one bit. And it certainly did not.

This country afforded me the opportunity to realize my full potential professionally; by obtaining a graduate degree and becoming a dentist. America has been tremendous to my family and for that I will always be eternally indebted. But even so, my pride in my Judaism trumps all else. So in conclusion, I Nadia Kiderman, am a Jewish American.

About the Author
Dr. Nadia Kiderman is a dedicated community activist involved in pro-Israel causes.
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