This is something of a companion question to How does one write from a minority culture? A question on cultural references
I have recently had a somewhat unpleasant experience reading Naomi Novik's Spinning Silver. (Loved the book, but still.) My first response upon meeting the Jewish protagonist was "ooh, finally! A fantasy book about me!" However, very soon I saw that the book might be about me, but it is not for me. For example:
My people didn't make a special virtue of dying for our religion -- we found it unnecessary -- and you were supposed to break Shabbat to save a life, including your own. (Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver, chapter 11)
The first-person narrator isn't speaking to me when she says "my people", though she is speaking about me - she is speaking to a presumed Christian audience. The explanation would indeed be needed by the non-Jewish audience, but when the narrator says so loudly "this story is not for you", it's jarring.
In other instances, Novik over-simplified Jewish ritual to make it easier for the presumed Christian audience to grasp, but making it in fact patently wrong in ways that are very obvious even to an unobserving Jew. (She states she is half-Jewish, so this has to be a conscious choice rather than a mistake.) Again, this does make the story more accessible, I can't deny it, but at the same time it says "you're not the target audience of this story". When the story is about a Jewish girl.
How do I avoid this in the story I'm telling? How do I provide the majority-reader the information they would need, without suggesting to the minority reader that I'm not talking to them? How do I avoid "here we observe the common Jew in its natural habitat"?
(Question is not restricted to the Jewish minority, but about any cultural minority. This one just happens to be mine.)