Spielberg on Growing Up Jewish

Spielberg on Growing Up Jewish

From Wikipedia’s entry on Steven Spielberg:

Spielberg attended Hebrew school from 1953 to 1957, in classes taught by Rabbi Albert L. Lewis, who would later be memorialized as the main character in Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith.

As a child, Spielberg faced difficulty reconciling being an Orthodox Jew with the perception of him by other children he played with. “It isn’t something I enjoy admitting,” he once said, “but when I was seven,

eight, nine years old, God forgive me, I was embarrassed because we were Orthodox Jews. I was embarrassed by the outward perception of my parents’ Jewish practices. I was never really ashamed to be

Jewish, but I was uneasy at times. My grandfather always wore a long black coat, black hat and long white beard. I was embarrassed to invite my friends over to the house, because he might be in a corner

davening [praying], and I wouldn’t know how to explain this to my WASP friends.”[14] Spielberg also said he suffered from acts of anti-Semitic prejudice and bullying in his early life: he later said, “In high

school, I got smacked and kicked around. Two bloody noses. It was horrible.”

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