I was on a 3-hour bus ride next to a stranger telling me how much he hates Jews


When I was an 18-year-old student coming home from my first trip to college, I was taking the bus back from Albany, NY, to NYC and the bus was full. I got the last seat on the bus so I couldn’t move my seat if I wanted to. I sat next to an older man who came from the Midwest and immediately upon leaving the bus terminal he started up a conversation with me. He started telling me how much he hated Jews and how they had horns and tails. He spoke for about three hours of his hatred for Jews. As a Jewish girl, I was terrified that this man hated me so much. After about three and a half hours, he asked me if I was Jewish. I think he must have realized at some point that he didn’t realize that he could be talking to someone who was Jewish. I told him that I was Jewish as I have never been ashamed of my religion and upbringing. As a Conservative Jew, I had been involved with NCSY as a teenager and embraced my Judaism. He was silent. Then he said that he had never met someone who was Jewish and that I seemed like a nice person. At that point, the bus pulled into NYC and I quickly exited. I was visibly upset and I have never forgotten how much hate a person can have for someone else when they don’t even know them.


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