BY: MEGAN NELSON
Once we finally got on our way today, it was a very good cultural experience. We went to a part of Paris called Le Marais, where there is a gay community and a Jewish community right next to each other. I was under the impression that the two communities were integrated a lot more.
I was very interested to learn why these two communities got along so well. Was it because they were two minority groups living in Paris? Or were there other reasons?
From my experience there, I’m now under the impression that the two communities are simply together because of geography. We were only there for a short time, so I may have perceived this wrong. The streets were filled with rainbows and Jewish symbols. One cafe in the gay neighborhood was called the Open Cafe, which we thought was very creative.
While we were walking along, we ran into a Jewish center where an old lady showed us around while Gabe helped translate everything she told us. It was very interesting, and I got some good pictures inside. A lot of the things inside were very old, and you could tell that the lady and the rabbis who had been there before had kept many of these things for many years.
We also talked to a 17-year-old Jewish boy working outside a nearby sushi place. We tried to talk to him about the Jewish and gay communities getting along in these neighborhoods, but he had trouble understanding what we were trying to say. We wanted to know how the gay and the Jewish communities got along and some of the history behind it. We never really received an answer to our question.
After speaking to the boy, we ran into a rabbi on the street. We continued to ask him questions about the two communities getting along with one another. He isn’t from Paris, so he couldn’t answer some of our questions. Nonetheless, he gave us some insightful information. He told us that there were many Jewish people who were gay, but they simply just kept quiet. It was not a problem. He also mentioned that he had many Jewish friends who were gay.
I wish we could have talked to more people to learn about the area, but the language barrier was a big problem. I think it could have been a very interesting story, but it was too difficult to communicate with people to get interviews.
The last thing we did today was go to the Jewish museum. At the beginning I thought it was very interesting that we had to go through so much security to simply get in. Once inside, I enjoyed looking around at the videos and the photos, but we couldn’t read all the captions because they weren’t in English.