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Fellows' Most Embarrassing Moments...
By Gutenstein Family ISJL Education Fellow Becca Leaman
Have you ever done something so cringe-worthy that you hoped no one would ever know? Lucky for you, so have the Education Fellows. And, a few brave souls decided to share their most embarrassing Jewish Moments. For your reading pleasure we have also been sure to include a YIKES-O-METER (on a scale of 1-5) to measure just how embarrassing this story really was for the Fellow.
An Education Director has the same name as one of my coworkers! One time, when asking my coworker to ask if she would edit a d'var Torah for me, I accidentally emailed it to the Education Director instead! They both were very understanding and we all laughed it off, but that definitely taught me to give my emails a second read!
Yikes! Cringey, but it could be worse, a solid 2 on the YIKES-O-METER.
My confirmation class went to downtown Chicago for some synagogue bonding stuff. Our evening activity was seeing an improv performance by Second City. The performance was really funny but not the most appropriate (in fact, often painful) material to watch next to your middle-aged rabbi. The next day, we went to the Holocaust museum. Let's just say there was an odd mix of emotions.
Wow! Embarrassing for sure, but probably only 3 on YIKES-O-METER.
One of my friends at camp decided to sneak off with her boyfriend during the day and was caught by her unit head. Pretty ordinary, right? Wrong!! The unit head at the time was my friend's mom's student! Several years later, she ended up working with that unit head at a different job, unbeknownst to her.
OOF! We feel the awkwardness from here; 4.5 on the YIKES-O-METER.
When I was a freshman in high school, I went to my synagogue for High Holiday services. I saw my friend across the room and had something to tell her that I felt was very urgent at the time. I start rushing over to tell my friend and slip on the slick tile floor. Full on, flat on my back, staring at the ceiling, in the middle of my synagogue, on one of the busiest days of the year.
Whoopsies! We’ll call that a solid 3 on the YIKES-O-METER.
It was just an average Shabbat at JCC summer camp, and little did I know that the “day of rest” also meant my day of embarrassment. I thought I was the coolest kid around because my mom worked at camp, and I got to hang out with the counselors during “off” hours. On this fateful Shabbat, I was seated on the floor with the rest of my group. Songs were sung, challah was eaten, and there was one final song to be sung. The music teacher called out to the crowd “Carrie, come up here and sing with us!” My six-year-old self shook her head and thought, “no way!” While I knew I was a big deal, surely the entire camp wasn't worthy of seeing me sing on stage. Again, she shouted, “come on, Carrie, don't be shy!” With my outgoing personality under siege, I laughed to myself and tried to remain humble by saying, “okay, okay, I'll come sing with you!” I made my way to the piano and the music teacher gave me a puzzling look. An older camper in the front row grabbed my attention and, to my chagrin, said, “She wasn't talking to you Carrie!” I gasped. With no concept that adults have real names, I learned that the art teacher's name also happened to be Carrie.
That’s embarrassing! Definitely a 4 on the YIKES-O-METER.