a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Black and Jewish relations’ Category

Beyond the Mission Statement

Posted by: erika on: July 4, 2012

Beyond the Mission Statement was written for and posted on the RJBlog. Have a good July 4th!   My path to Judaism is similar to most Jews by choice. After years of spiritual searching and longing, I turned toward Judaism because of the tradition, because it is the seed of monotheistic religion, because it’s where […]

Guess What?! There are Non-White Jews in NYC!

Posted by: erika on: June 12, 2012

No shit. “The Israelites journeyed from from Raamses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on food, aside from children.  Moreover, a mixed multitude went up with them”-Exodus 12:37-38 I sound like a broken record, but clearly the lessons of history, of Torah, of geography and human migration needs to be continually told and re-learned. […]

A few weeks ago I pitched the below to the editor of a popular Jewish website.  It didn’t get published so I decided to go with my first instinct (always trust ’em) and publish it here. I’m a little frustrated because I wanted this read by a larger and broader Jewish audience.  I cherish my […]

Dear Ashkenazi Food,

Posted by: erika on: February 16, 2012

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that whenever I read The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden that I skip your section and go straight for the Sephardic Food. I’m sorry that I don’t pick up Jewish cook books if the book is only filled with you  I’m sorry that I have written you off as gross, inedible […]

“Latkes” Clarified.

Posted by: erika on: December 18, 2011

Whoa, folks are really attached to Latkes.  Again, I get it.  They’re delicious.  I used latkes as a symbol of what is and is not considered “Jewish”.  Latkes are a part of normative Jewish culture for most American Jews, but not all Jews.  My point with my latke post was to say that Jewish culture […]

I Twisted My Hair and I liked it

Posted by: erika on: November 1, 2011

Yesterday on Twitter #CurlyHairGirls was trending.  There was a buzz around a new Flickr album, “My Jewish Hair.”  Keeping with that trend, a post dedicated to my Jewish hair. The story of going from relaxed hair (chemically straightened) to natural has been documented in this blog before.  I think it’s been about 5 years since I’ve put chemicals on […]

In California with Be’chol Lashon

Posted by: erika on: October 14, 2011

When I first started researching whether it was possible to be both black and Jewish I Googled “Black Jews.” A lot of websites came up and I easily sifted through the ones that looked a bit off and the ones that looked legit.  After my “Black Jews” search I Googled “Diverse Jews” and Be’chol Lashon came […]

Chag Samach-A Sukkot Rant.

Posted by: erika on: October 13, 2011

Sukkot.  Hmm…what to say, what to say.  Do you remember my Sukkotlast year?  It wasn’t a pretty picture.  Even after the asshole on the street racially profiled and tried to over-sell me the holiday left a bad taste in my mouth.  It’s the season where we are commanded, in Torah, to welcome the stranger.  We […]

Black and Jewish

Posted by: erika on: October 10, 2011

If you’re a reader of this blog and have been with me since the beginning you know that Black and Jewish are two of three  identities that I’ve struggled to make one.  My latest piece on TribeVibe is about that struggle.  

My Big Fat Frum Shabbat

Posted by: erika on: September 11, 2011

I’m sure, by actual frum standards, my Shabbat wasn’t exactly the frummiest of the frum. In terms of Erika Frumness, it was a frummy, frumtastic Shabbat and you know what?  I liked it.  Congregation Kol Israel is seriously the little shul that could in Prospect Heights.  I read an article printed in 2010 that the […]


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