a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Black Gay and Jewish’ Category

You’re Never Too Young To Learn About Racism

Posted by: erika on: June 6, 2016

For the past 10 days I’ve been back home in Ohio. The majority of the time I was here to take care of my three nephews; boys aged 9 and under. Most readers will remember that their mother, my sister (z”l), passed away from complications of long-term drug abuse. Since her death my parents have […]

Riding in the Front Seat

Posted by: erika on: June 4, 2016

If there was a hierarchy of Jews of Color (JOCs) I can confidently say that JOCs who are black Americans are at the bottom of the rung of the ladder. Followed next, possibly, by Jews of African heritage, then Jews of Indian heritage and right up on the color line until we get to the […]

Heading to Pardes This Summer!

Posted by: erika on: May 11, 2016

15 days ago I launched a Go Fund Me Page to help with my travel expenses to Israel this summer. If you’re a regular BGJ reader then that may sound familiar. It’s kind of crazy to think that it has been almost 5 years since my last trip to Israel. And it feels like it […]

Coming Down

Posted by: erika on: May 8, 2016

Hello, Readers. Many apologies for my completely non-existent blogging over the last year or more. As many of you know, many things have happened in my life which has made blogging take a bit of a back seat. And then I went to the Jews of Color National Convening in NYC (after helping to plan […]

L’Shanah Tovah! Ketivah v’chatima tovah!

Posted by: erika on: September 13, 2015

L’Shanah Tovah, BGJ readers! It’s so hard to believe that the year has already come and gone. I hate to admit it, but I’ve become a Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur Jew. I’ve only been to shul three times in 5775! 5775 has been a rough year with the move, adjusting to a new Jewish community and […]

The Problem With Jewish Media

Posted by: erika on: August 8, 2015

About two years ago I was a regular writer for a major Jewish publication. I wrote roughly once or twice a month, mostly on the topics of race and racism, but also about my experience being a black Jewish lesbian woman. At the time I was the only black writer for the publication, and I’m […]

Racism in the Jewish Community: The Uncomfortable Truth

Posted by: erika on: August 6, 2015

So excited that I can call Ilana Kaufman not just a colleague in this work of making the Jewish world a more inclusive space for Jews of Color, but a friend! #kvelling watching this and getting my black lady in church on with a few “mmhmms”

Jewish Grieving for a Non-Jewish Relative; Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: July 22, 2015

I woke up suddenly in the wee hours of the morning on March 5, 2014. It wasn’t my alarm that had woken me or my cell phone, which was next to my head and on vibrate. It was a feeling. I believe that if you ask a doula or birth worker, most will tell you […]

Not only is Chava one of my best friends, she’s one the President of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), the organization I am an active volunteer for. Below is an expert of the candid piece that Chava wrote for JTA about racism in the Orthodox Jewish community. I often hear that these experiences are to […]

What Do I Wear on My Head?-A Cross-Post

Posted by: erika on: February 21, 2015

When I was still in the process of converting to Judaism I found Jew in the City and her post about why Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair. The vlog didn’t speak to me. I don’t have a husband and I don’t find hair to be particularly sexual. Yet, I was intrigued and clicked my […]


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