Posted on March 12, 2013 by Naomi Minsky
Here is my presentation from the Pardes Purim spiel:
In the spirit of what we learnt about conflict resolution I am going to provide feedback on how I feel and relate to the Pardes community.
I will begin by outlining my expectations prior to coming here. I came to Pardes excited to learn with students from all different backgrounds. The website talks so much about celebrating diversity. So I was shocked to find myself in the position of fulfilling an ethnic minority quota. Apart from a few fellow foreigners you are all the same. BLOODY AMERICANS!!!!!!! I know we have Canadians, but to be honest I can’t tell the difference. You all have these strange accents.
During my first few weeks here I was confused. People looked dazzled when I spoke, not being able to understand what I was saying. I found it helpful to talk LOUDLY, CLEARLY and SLOWLY using language similar to that of a small child. Not being able to understand my accent was okay. I know that your experience of British culture was limited to watching Downton Abbey. I think you had a hard time adjusting to a non-fictional real life Londoner.
What I found unacceptable was your obsession with imitating me, I just did not and still do not get it. Talking as if you are from England is not funny. One day I decided to keep a tally of accent impressions I heard. 18 TIMES IN ONE DAY. It was a monday so night seder extends the time we spend together. But 18 times, really? When four of the culprits were members of staff, without naming and shaming one was a very senior member, I resigned myself to my reality for the next year.
That being the case, I would like to educate you on the gem that is England. I have put together a selection of the questions that you have asked me about the Motherland.
It is hard for me to be away from my land and people during Purim. As well as celebrating the victory of the Jewish people over Haman, the Megilah tells us the story of two Queens. Not one but TWO! The Queen is central too my national identity and I miss her. Considering how many of your stupid impressions I put up with, the least you can do is join me in the honour of toasting her majesty.
Ladies and Gentlemen. Please be upstanding and charge your glasses. The toast is her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, her advisors and counsellors. Long may she reign with wisdom and absolute power.