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Bacon hidden in a casserole teaches an important lesson on antisemitism and family boundaries

“See, we told you nothing bad would happen.”

AITA; Reddit; antisemitism; family boundaries; kosher

Emotional Reddit thread teaches lesson on antisemitism

If you've never been on Reddit, there's a section titled "Am I the A**h*le" aptly abbreviated AITA where people ask for clarification on a difficult situation. The idea is that commenters will help you decipher if you are being the jerk in a situation or if it's the other person involved that holds the title.

A Jewish dad and his two children took to this subreddit to seek his own clarification. The dad, who doesn't give his name for obvious reasons, explains that he is a remarried widower who came into his second marriage with two children by his deceased wife. He tells readers that his current wife isn't Jewish but also isn't particularly religious while her parents are and have attempted to convince his daughter to be baptized Christian.


Boundaries were set according to the post and the family ate dinner at the in-laws house prior to Thanksgiving. Even if you know nothing of Jewish religion, you know that those who follow religious doctrine eat foods that are kosher, which is something that had been explained to the in-laws and they had always abided by.


After the meal was finished, his mother-in-law remarked, “See, we told you nothing bad would happen.” and upon further clarification, she admitted to mixing bacon into the casserole dishes. While he says the father-in-law appeared to be uncomfortable, he agreed that he knew what his wife had done to the food. The situation resulted in his daughter crying and leaving the room with the child's stepmother following close behind. The poster's son, who is 15 had some choice words for his step-grandparents.

AITA; Reddit; antisemitism; family boundaries; kosher

woman in white t-shirt and jeans arguing with a man in black shirt in a kitchen

Canva

The entire situation created a rift between not just the in-laws and the person who posted, but with the wife (stepmother) as well. It seems his wife stayed behind at her parents' house after her husband and stepchildren left. She eventually returned home to be with the family she married into. But the damage had been done after she supposedly sided with her parents in saying her stepson had to apologize before being welcome to Thanksgiving dinner being hosted by her parents.

The thousands of comments were overwhelmingly supportive and turned the comment section into a master class on confronting antisemitism.

And while I certainly don't believe tampering with someone's food when you're aware of their religious restrictions is subtle, it may not be as clear as some of the more overt examples. But Merriam-Webster defines antisemitic as, "feeling or showing hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a cultural, racial, or ethnic group," which is exactly what the Reddit poster's mother-in-law displayed by sneakily adding bacon to the family's food.

AITA; Reddit; antisemitism; family boundaries; kosher

Man and woman facing away from each other on a couch

Canva

Commenter, Millerlicious said, "Yup. I’m Jewish, my fiancé is from a Catholic family. They might not have always understood my religion or diet, but they would have never snuck pork into my food. That is some disgusting level of antisemitism. I would be reevaluating this whole marriage."

Another commenter, melloussa wrote, "As a Muslim who doesn't eat pork I would feel so violated and cry like your daughter. This is just evil disrespect. They are not trying to convert you, they are just trying to prove to you that you are wrong. I would go completely NC. NTA."

The majority of the commenters did not think the 15-year-old son should have to apologize and many thought the marriage may be too broken to salvage. The update given provided some hope explaining that he and his wife will be attending counseling and he will be speaking to his Rabbi. There will be no further contact between his children and their step-grandparents for the foreseeable future.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

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