Got Integration?

Integrating into the community is one of the bigger challenges for BTs in larger communities. Included in integration is conformity.

How would you differentiate between integrating and conforming?

In what ways have you conformed?

Do you feel that you are integrated?

How would you determine if a person has integrated into the community?

What are the objective measures of successful integration?

3 comments on “Got Integration?

  1. I felt unwelcome in the original community where our family lived. It was only ten years later, when we moved to a smaller and friendlier community, that I really felt integrated as a BT.

    I felt that I had successfully integrated when FFB women included me in their “veibisher” conversatios, such as sharing tips for easier toilet training for toddlers or letting me know where the best buys were on boys’ clothing.

    IMHO, I think that a BT man has “integrated” when he is accepted as a learning chavrusa by an FFB during an early-AM or late-night seder at the bais medrash geared for working men.

    People generally are expected to “conform to the norm,” but there is some wiggle room for individuality. The friendlier the community, the more people are allowed to be different without being ostracized. As in everything else in life, one has to strike a balance and discover one’s own personal style, in frumkeit and in dealing with others.

  2. While integration and conformity are not identical, some communities may act as if they are, so be aware of your surroundings.

  3. this post if very well worded. An inability to distinguish between integration and conformity can cause a lot of heart-ache.

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