Today on Tablet, Joe Freeman talks about his years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan and how he handled his Jewish identity.
Last week, the Jordanian Tourism Ministry issued a warning advising visitors to avoid wearing Jewish garb or performing Jewish rituals in public. It was a sad reminder for me of my own experience there. In 2006, I joined the Peace Corps, beginning a two-year stint in Jordan. The organization does not have any official rules about discussing religious identity, but during a pre-service orientation session in Amman, the trainer recommended that Jewish volunteers wait at least a year before sharing their backgrounds with locals, to get a full sense of what the response might be. A Jewish volunteer who’d served in one of the first groups to go to the country suggested that I tell anyone who asked that I was Christian.
Read on here to see what Freeman discovers.