Religion/culture in essay?

My son is white. Average ACT score, 4.0 GPA. Usual activities and community service. Nothing spectacular. He wants to do essay prompt 1 and write about his Jewish culture. Not the religious aspect, but the culture. I am afraid anyone reading the essay, who is not okay with Jews, will immediately decline him. Please, please advise and thank you!

Is he applying to colleges in the 1930’s?

Is he applying to colleges with no Hillel, no Jewish chaplains, nobody named Cohen or Weinberg on faculty or as a student?

If not, I wouldn’t worry. I might not pick that topic for other reasons - it has potential to turn into a list more than an essay - but not this one.


I agree with @MITPhysicsAlum unless your kid is applying to a Christian college of the type which requires a statement of faith, it’s not going to me even the slightest bit of an issue.

I also agree with @MITPhysicsAlum that it would make “show, don’t tell” more difficult, if your son is talking simply about his culture. On the other hand, talking about himself in a Jewish context can work, like, say, talking about forgiving somebody in the context of Yom Kippur.


@MWolf @MITPhysicsAlum so grateful for your feedback!