Jews are not officially a minority in the United States today, but we were once, when I was growing up, the quintessential minority. We were the model with reference to which everyone else’s moral and political attitudes were determined Other people were judged tolerant or not on the basis of their behavior toward the Jews. And our responses to the “others” were the responses of a classical minority: eager for recognition and respect, always suspicious that we weren’t being recognized and respected enough.
In 1944 my parents moved from the Bronx to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, taking my sister and me from a world where minority status was, so to speak, theoretical to a world where it was real. Our apartment hou...
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