Running Head: who am i Fein 1

Abstract

Many cultures have common interests, while others may have customs that differ greatly from that of another. You associate yourself with the larger group of which you are a member. Ever since I have been a little kid, I have always been fascinated in finding out about where my grandparents came from and their life stories. Whereas I have lived in the United States for most of my life, my family’s background has engaged me in European and Jewish cultures. Growing up in a Jewish home I found that my core identity as a Jew was formed at home. And the way it was formed was through concrete experiences of the five senses, the tastes, smells, sounds, and images of Jewish life. Improving the cultural sensitivity in the workforce is crucial in today’s multicultural environment is essential. This will help prevent conflicts between employees and make any company better adapted to dealing with clients from different cultures.

Who am I Ever since I have been a little kid, I have always been fascinated in finding out about where my grandparents came from and their life stories. While looking upon my family’s culture in an attempt to figure out what it entails, it became apparent to me that I have a pretty historic culture. One of the most fascinating things I have learned is that, while our parents give from themselves to help us grow as civilized human beings, one of the most if not the most important things they do is present to us our culture. As a small child, my parents introduced me to the world, and what a wonderful place it can or can’t be.

Who I am; my beliefs, values, morals, and values on diversity are shaped based upon my upbringing, the values within society, and the norms adopted by our culture. I would like to take you on a journey inside my unique culture. Many cultures have common interests, while others may have customs that differ greatly from that of another. You associate yourself with the larger group of which you are a member. For example, I was born in Brooklyn, New York so I consider myself as “New Yorker”. This is part of my identity. Judaism is the religion I believe in- this also is a part of how I identify myself. My ethnicity is Jewish American. My race is considered white, However, when filling out an application, I always check the “other” box. In terms of social class, I’m considered middle class. Whereas I have lived in the United States for most of my life, my family’s background has engaged me in European and Jewish cultures. Both my parents are a first generation American, their parents on the other hand are all from Europe. Although we were always aware of our European origins and my grandparents’ migration to the states, European culture has never been explicitly celebrated amongst those in my family.

Furthermore, my family previously migrated from Europe during and right after world war II, resulting in European culture being a very sore topic in my family’s culture. While my father’s side of the family lived in Dynów Poland, and my mother’s side of the family lived in Kraków for many generations, however, I do not consider myself as being authentically European. Accordingly, throughout my childhood and adult life, I was never encouraged to celebrate the European culture. On the other hand, religion was always very prominent in my life, as my parents were very strong in passing on our Jewish culture, as per the family tradition, because they wished for us to have the proper religious upbringing despite some of the hardships. As a result of my family’s religion, as well as my Jewish culture, my family has always celebrated Jewish holidays, though we were also taught to respect all others and their beliefs. Growing up in a Jewish home I found that my core identity as a Jew was formed at home.

And the way it was formed was through concrete experiences of the five senses, the tastes, smells, sounds, and images of Jewish life. My parents always talked to us about the importance of the observance of Shabbat and Jewish holidays, as well as the sacrifices they had to make by losing their jobs on a weekly basis. Furthermore, we were taught the importance of living a Jewish life every day and making the home a small sanctuary responsible for fostering the family’s spiritual life. In my day to day life there are many times where it’s easier to not show off your religion, especially with the antisemitic attacks we have been hearing recently on all different religions. This country was built on the basis of freedom of religion, I was taught not to hide it and to make others feel like they need to hide it. The impact on my day to day life has been the fact that I was brought up through my culture to love and not to hate, to be proud of who you are and not to try to hide it. Improving the cultural sensitivity in the workforce is crucial in today’s multicultural environment is essential.

Our e-text states; “Prejudice is a premature judgment or opinion that is formed without examination of the facts. Throughout life, we often prejudge people in light of their primary and secondary dimensions. Rather than treat others as unique individuals, prejudiced people tend to think in terms of stereotypes—perceptions, beliefs, and expectations about members of some group.” (Reece Barry, 2017) The most common stereotypes is when in the past, things were primarily about skin color, and issues regarding people of a particular skin color were handled by such, and not ethnicity. Black people were black people, whites were whites, and so on today this is no longer the case for the most part. “A well-planned and well-executed diversity and inclusion program can promote under- standing and defuse tensions between employees who differ in age, race, gender, religious beliefs, and other characteristics. Programs that are poorly developed and poorly executed often backfire, especially in organizations where bias and distrust have festered for years.

A comprehensive diversity and inclusion program has three pillars: organizational commitment, employment practices, and training and development” (Reece Barry, 2017) I will try to explain this three with some of my ideas. Organizational Commitment. How a company thinks about diversity and how they act about it have to match up and be a huge part in the organization’s business objectives. A successful diversity program is a long-term commitment, not a one-day workshop which from experience creates greater divisiveness among workers. I believe that in order to increase cultural acceptance a company should celebrate the diversity of its workforce. When you have a worker from a different culture let them take off on their holiday to show them their cultures are being recognized. Another great way to achieve this is by having a staff dinner with cultural awareness as the theme, and have your employees bring a traditional dish from their homeland.

Employment Practices

  •  Culture change doesn’t come from lectures as much as it does from actions. None bigger than having a diverse management personnel and having a climate where they feel they earned it and not that they are some kind of publicity stunt. For example, let’s say Walmart promotes a woman to be a manager for PR purposes rather than her earning it like her male counterparts. The same is true with pay for people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds. Training and Development.
  • To really create an atmosphere that values and enhances diversity, organizations need to provide real training programs about diversity and not just any program that will satisfy the courts in discrimination lawsuits.

Furthermore, I would give managers an incentive to enhance their diversity and knowledge about different coulters. Another way to help your employees become more culturally aware is to tell them to observe and listen to foreign or diverse colleagues.

A good way of learning about others is by observing their attitudes and behaviors. Even though these behaviors may seem odd, confusing, or even annoying at first, your staff will be able to respond to cultural differences in a calm and rational way. References Reece Barry, R. M. (2017). Effective Human Relations. Cenage Learning.

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