Sample Oral History Project

Superior Essays
Oral History Project

Interviews aren’t overly interesting when you’ve known the interviewee for all your college and adult life. When you hang out with someone half of every single week you tend to learn a lot about them. Most of the questions I could think of I already knew the answer to and had for a couple of years. I planned and worked out a good thirty or forty questions but, again, most of them I could answer myself, since again we’ve known each other for such a long time. My planning and preparation, for the most part, didn’t really help me go through the interviewing process. Jenny was really excited to be interviewed because honestly, she likes to talk about herself which is great for interviews. But, she also gets too excited from
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Regarding her religion, I already knew a lot about Judaism before I enrolled in this course so the interview itself didn’t teach me a lot about the religion. I did get to see real world examples of how strict Ultra-Orthodox Jews can be. Jenny’s father is a non-practicing Jew. He used to be a lot like Rabbi Joseph Meszler from our course pack. He believed things like, “The Torah was [not] written by God” (Course pack 1). On top of his liberal beliefs in Judaism, his mother didn’t approve of him marrying outside the Jewish faith. I hear stories about entire families stop talking to each other because they marry outside of the religion. Jenny’s case isn’t as extreme but, her grandma and everyone on her father’s side didn’t go to his wedding to Jenny’s mother. I never thought of religion being that big of thing in my life and just assumed everyone else felt that way too. Almost a confirmation bias, we saw the same thing in class on how most Southern Baptists think most of America is also Southern Baptist. I couldn’t make sense of how someone could just ignore their family over them being a different religion. The fallout from all of this is that Jenny barely sees half of her extended family. Her grandma is old world too so she’s not the most understanding person, this has caused Jenny to be even more apprehensive towards the Jewish side of her family. Having rigid people making up the bulk of a religion like Judaism isn’t doing it any favors. It could possibly be why the number of Jews is dwindling. We discussed in class what Jews could do to bolster their numbers, the easiest solution to me is to modernize. Jews obviously have done this already with Reformed Jews but it may need to go further if they want the faith to grow. Another problem I found that Jenny has with Ultra-Orthodox Judaism is how unequal it is. Like most sane people, she’s pro-equal rights and when attending Jewish services, she

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