Introduction xv that she is sometimes hesitant about naming particular experiences and incidents as outright antisemitism. “In the Jewish community, we’re some- times trigger-happy in calling something antisemitism. We feel like we need to defend ourselves, and we’re eager to define things that happen as antisemitism. I have a problem with that, so I’m sometimes hesitant to call something antisemitism. I’m just not always that confident in defining it.” While sometimes there are black-and-white examples of antisemitism, something that too many Generation Zers, including Nora herself, have experienced, often there is a gray area where decisions about what crosses the line need to be made. For the last ten years, I’ve had the honor and sacred responsibility of educating Jewish teens. I’ve had the chance to get to know this next generation—their dreams, their fears, the pressures they feel internally and externally. The role of the Jewish educator is marked by its multi- faceted nature. I have worn the hats of counselor (camp, college, and life), event planner, teacher, spiritual advisor, big sister, mom, rule enforcer, marketer, and tour guide. I’ve held the hands of girls over- whelmed with first love and first heartbreak. I’ve listened to boys grap- ple with what it means to be a man and how to reconcile their inner and outer selves in ways that feel authentic yet will be accepted by their peers. And I’ve been a thought partner as these young people explore how their Jewish identities manifest and what role this aspect of their intersectional identities will play in shaping their lives. There have been high points, moments of pride. I’ve sat under a night sky at a campground, asking shared questions about morality and personal responsibility, hearing from the next generation of mystics as they pieced together emerging worldviews and tried to make sense of the world around them. I’ve shared seats on long bus rides that have been places of plotting future goals and have been present at the birth of ideas that, should they come to fruition, will surely change the world. I’ve seen leaders blossom, nurturers evolve, and countless adolescents come into their own as well- rounded, complex individuals, ready to take on the challenges that life has, and will surely continue to, throw at them. But I’ve also held back my own tears as teens have come to me with questions in their eyes about hate, prejudice, and senseless anger. What does one say when they’re asked to make sense of a teacher who shut down the voice of a Jewish student, telling the student that there’s no conclusive evidence of the murder of over six million Jews during the Holocaust? Or when they’re charged with helping a teen respond to someone who used a
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