We asked Jews by Choice whether their sponsoring rabbi had talked with them about Anti-semitism, fully expecting to get a universal, Yes. But that didn't happen.
Here are three different answers we received.
I was not told about anti-Semitism, but I was told that I could never understand the family histories of people whose ancestors had suffered anti-Semitism. I have very mixed feelings about that.
The problem of that omission was that when I did actually experience anti-Semitism, I was unsure how to deal with it because no one had talked to me about it. Just recently I’ve had a couple of bad interactions that have been very difficult for me, and I’m working it out. I’ve had to talk to my Jewish friends about it—which I think is pretty normal. All that to say that, yes, converting does mean taking up the burden of the hatred of Jews that is so ingrained in the social fabric that, even in modern, liberal, fully integrated Jewish America, it comes up.
T in San Francisco, CA
Our rabbi warned us at the Beit Din and asked us if we would be ready to stand with the Jewish people if there were to be another Holocaust. It was taken very seriously at our conversion.
K in Iowa
Being told about Anti-semitism at the Beit Din is much too late! This should have been brought up early in the study process.
Sure, I was warned, but unfortunately that wasn’t very necessary, because here there are still a lot of misrepresentations of Jews in general and Judaism as a religion in particular. Many centuries of prejudice left a mark and a certain degree of anti-Semitism has always found social acceptance.
I even had to erase some people from my friends' list.
The good thing is that we’re making progress as a country on that subject. But still some traditional people (who may hold some classical conservative prejudices against Jews as harmless opinions), and the "progressive" political movements (who see Israel as a pawn of colonial western powers in de Middle East and any support for Israel as pro-western fascism) manage to give me some headache from time to time.
A in Argentina
I have been warned about anit-semitism at every step of my conversion - not only by the Rabbis that I have studied with, but I have been asked by my Jewish brothers and sisters - why on earth I would chose to be Jewish because anit-semitism is on the rise all over the world?
With that said, Judaism is the only place I have ever felt at peace - both in the community sense and the spiritual sense. And I have a deep love for Israel that is unexplainable.
In college I was friends with Arab Muslims and am well aware of the hatred that the Arab governments have for us.
It is not an easy road by any means, but I still feel deeply blessed and fulfilled to be on it.
M in Pleasanton, CA