Working with Non Jews

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  • #600300
    photogenic
    Member

    I work in close proximity with Non Jews every day. (I work in a group home with disabled individuals). What should be my parameters in interaction with them? What would be Halchicly allowed and Halachicly prohibited?

    I want to ask your opinions, since I know many people may be in a similar situation.

    Thanks everyone 🙂

    #823149

    Why are you working with Non Jews?

    #823150
    rosesharon
    Member

    I also work with non-jews. The only advice I can give you is act like a mensch. Dont get involved in discussing politics or religion.

    Remember that you have the amazing ability to be a kiddush hashem and be careful about being a chillull hashem. Its very easy to slip from one to the other. Hatzlacha

    #823151
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    What kind of question is that, Charles?

    #823152
    photogenic
    Member

    The place I work at is a well known Jewish organization. It just happens to be that they employ Non Jews here as well and since we are working at a group home for 8 hours a day, (in a non office and an interactive setting), we work pretty closely together.

    #823153
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Charles Short: Not everyone has a choice. I don’t think Hashem wants us to starve.

    #823154
    oomis
    Participant

    So you be a mensch, and stop overthinking it. In the real world, people work together, Jew and non-Jew alike. We don’t always have the luxury of ONLY being around Jews.

    #823155
    farrockgrandma
    Participant

    I also work among non-Jews, in an office setting. We are friendly, even sociable. When you add up the hours we spend there, compared to waking hours with family and friends, it is quite a lot. Friendly, but it ends when the business day is over. Lunch only with the same gender (except for a farewell luncheon for a retiring co-worker, very rare and with a group). Like I said, business hours only. If you feel more vulnerable, you can be strictly formal as needed.

    #823156

    Thanks for the clarification, though the answer is beyond my expertise.

    #823157
    photogenic
    Member

    To everyone: Thanks for the replies! All are appreciated, and noted.

    @Oomis-One of the things I dont like about cybercommunication-especially when we are all strangers, is that the intention or expressions behind the words-and the person is missing.

    I have no problem being a mentch 🙂 (If I can brag;) In the past, before I became more religious, I was very close to Non Jews, we would chat about personal things, we would get together purely socially, and we would have close friendships. However as I got more religious, I picked up on the fact that there are certain boundaries in our relationships to the Umot Haolam, and to be honest, I am not sure how “close” I am allowed to get to the Non Jews at work, especially when we are all (Jews +Non) are sitting around freely conversing. Halacha can be grey here I think, however I feel that I dont want to trangress by doing what I may not be allowed to in terms of closer relationships. Hence my OP.

    #823158
    RABBAIM
    Participant

    Hamavdil bain kodesh lchol and between light and dark is the same as between YIdden adn non. Live it.

    #823159
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    photegenic: I am very confused about what you are asking.

    Do you mean because they are the other gender?

    Or do you mean because they are non-jews?

    Or do you mean because they are non-jews of the other gender?

    #823160
    EzratHashem
    Member

    Not meaning to change the topic, but another difficult question is how to interact at work with Jews married to non-Jews. Some also have children who are not Jewish, but are brought up to believe they are.

    #823161
    miritchka
    Member

    photogenic: its similar to working with Jews of the opposite gender. dont share personal stories or feelings, dont discuss your issues with them. I used to work in a large Jewish office with both women and men. a few of the men would come in and start conversations with the women, myself included.

    One of the women always shared personal stories and had private jokes with one of the married men. He was married and she was not. Even though it was only 9-5, my point is that 9-5 is a long time.

    bottom line, the less personal you are, the better.

    #823162
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Be who you are. Know you are to be a light unto them by doing your job well. And, know they are people who you can learn from as well. I have worked in such an environment and it was an eye-opener for me to see how the inside of almost any person has waters that run far deeper than what one might expect from outside appearances.

    #823163
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Not meaning to change the topic, but another difficult question is how to interact at work with Jews married to non-Jews. Some also have children who are not Jewish, but are brought up to believe they are.

    IMO you dont say a word especially when you are not asked for your opinion, and if you are asked, its best to Dodge the question, Sometimes its best to know your place, I do not think you are required to divulge that information (unless of course it might lead to something else like that person is marrying a jew)

    #823164
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Not meaning to change the topic, but another difficult question is how to interact at work with Jews married to non-Jews.

    I once had a supervisor who was an African American man. We used to shmooze a lot, and once he asked me what our community felt about intermarriage.

    After I answered, he tells me his wife is Jewish. Blazes!

    #823165
    Jothar
    Member

    The rule I used to hear was “cordial but not friendly”. Treat them like people, but make it clear there is no desire for friendship.

    #823166
    2scents
    Participant

    the standard reply to this would be that you should act professional and friendly. like that you will not build a personal relationship rather a Professional one.

    however I happen to know that in a group home things are different, I dont know for which agency you work, and what your position is, if you have a steady shift or not, if you physically work together with your co-workers or not.

    But the fact that it is a Jewish Agency makes things much easier, as most of the employees know about the Jewish tradition and that we dont have the same social life and attitude as one would see in a non Jewish group home.

    just my 2Scents.

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