Tijuana, Mexico’s Border-Crossing Jewish Kids


You might think a New York City family is making a sacrifice by renting a second apartment so their child can attend a high-ranking public school school—but try driving your kid across the U.S.-Mexico border every day.

A recent article in the Jewish Journal reports that in Tijuana, whose Jewish community numbers just 2,000, young Jews of all ages travel daily by foot and van to San Diego for a better-rounded Jewish education. (The cities are so close that in 2013, they made the first-ever bid for a binational Olympics). But both the kids and parents have bigger ideas than just wrapping tefillin: they hope that attending school across the border will give them a foundation, years down the road, for immigrating to the U.S. The students take the long commute in stride: “It’s good to understand that you need to start making sacrifices at this age,” one 15-year-old says.

Morning delays at customs, homework after a two-hour trek back to Tijuana. If these aren’t the complaints of a typical teenager, one of the students’ mothers might say she isn’t raising a typical teenager. She’s raising a mensch.

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