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Laurel Herman
Chef Instructor, Culinary Storyteller, Ancestral Foods

Tips for Dealing with Non Jewish Friends American Edition

What ever to do? .. I have some strategies that might help. Read on. Firstly thank you to anyone who has read my last post, especially those who commented. I am most grateful for your feedback.

I am a keen observer and so are you. I bet you have noticed a sharp decline in support for Israel. I am sure you have noticed some of these friends have fallen into several categories.

Trigger warning: This might get uncomfortable. I already had one friend who took the last blog personally. Not my problem. Nor is it yours. No time for that.

They don’t get why all of a sudden your Jewish activism takes precedence  over your “old life”, and why we must do this by ourselves. Lets face it, this is our new normal, it is not their new normal. This is mostly geared toward American audiences, but if the shoe fits. My non Jewish friends have seen me go from zero to 100.  “But you’re not religious so why?’ I have discovered in recent months that there is no way I am not connected to Israel.  If you are Jewish you are connected to the land. PERIOD. We are one family and we are inseparable. I was even told that taking Mounjaro ( for blood sugar and weight) was responsible for my behavior. Me, along with so many of us are supporting our home land by any and all means possible. For me its about staying informed, I read only Israeli accounts. They have become trusted new sources. My Instagram stories are full all the time to fight antisemitism.  Its also a way to release the anger and pressure.

Some of our friends or their college age kids have taken up a cause they know nothing about, under the guise of “free Palestine.” We are well aware of the war on indoctrination.

Spiritual Folks. I have dear friends in this community.  The ones you know, the “new age” folks. I was one of them. They like to take all sides because they feel safer, and its more ” spiritual.”  One young friend said to me, I am on both sides. This is spiritual bypass. There is only one side..

The ones who ignore the attacks completely or remain silent. Some people just don’t know what to say.  This is not an excuse, but rather, people are shocked. Who knows what to say about atrocities that are so vile, they are beyond all comprehension.  As one close friend said to me, she has never seen anything like it especially on the college campuses. Its insane out there.

And I’m sure there are a few more categories But here are some tips:

What to do? Need to know basis :  Some of my non Jewish friends are on a “need to know” basis. They can only handle so much. Let them be. Spend your time elsewhere. They wont get it and that’s ok. Keep it moving !

Friends who support Hamas.  Dump them. They are not friends.  They will never get it. Bye Felicia!

Know your audience. Now this can be tough as we navigate who we can talk to and who we can’t. Shocking who we thought we could trust. But you find out pretty quick  Also, I am finding I can’t over saturate them with info….be aware  and respectful of their capacity.

How public do you want to be? I don’t know how the influencers do it. I just posted one blog and I was a nervous wreck. Protect your energy.  

Lean on some of your Christian friends who are allies. I can count on less than one hand who has stood up. Thank them generously  They are praying for Israel and they are engaged.

Take some self care time. This is an over 3,000 year problem.  If you need a social media break take one. One of my Jewish friends is offering Yoga Nidre. We need it.

Concentrate on your Jewish groups and friends. We are on the same team which needs no explanation. Ah finally a safe place. WHEW !!! Let your Jewish freak flag fly and help our Israeli brothers and sister  in these safe spaces. (and you don’t need to share that with anyone who isn’t) It’s too much for a lot of people.

And finally Pray.. with each other, alone, listen to Jewish music…..light candles do Mitzvot…Keep Calm and be Extra Jewish. 

About the Author
Laurel Herman is a Chef Instructor, Culinary Storyteller, and Culinary Medicine practitioner, residing in Richmond, Virginia. A classically trained chef in the European style( Thames Valley University, London, U.K. and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition) Her style is anything but classic, its fun, and relaxed. Laurel's passion is bringing people together through food goes back to growing up in a home which welcomed everyone. She has taught at various venues throughout the Richmond area. Now retired, but never from the love of food, active on Instagram Laurel also loves doing her podcast Chai talk with Laurel on Spotify. Her books, The Blissed Out Chef was published in 2015 and the Inner Kitchen, Balboa press in 2011.
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