a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Jews by Choice’ Category

The Jewish Week is Covering Jews of Color!

Posted by: erika on: October 7, 2016

I’m so excited to see that popular Jewish paper and online source, The Jewish Week is covering Jews of Color this week! It’s always great to see Jews of Color getting more press and Gd willing, we’ll no longer need these “Special” pieces. But until that time comes, I’m happy to see it! According to […]

MikvahVersary-And a New Name!

Posted by: erika on: August 17, 2016

Five years ago today I became a Jew. It seems like forever ago and like I’ve been Jewish my whole life. I have fond memories of Christmas, enjoyed getting new Cabbage Patch dolls for Easter, Jesus is alright with me, but being Jewish fills my neshema, my soul. It’s who I am and it’s hard […]

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 […]

Meanwhile…

Posted by: erika on: August 4, 2014

I think of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as three rivers. If you are on either of the three, you run into some good spots and some rough currents. You sometimes float down lazily just to get to a stretch of water seemingly impossible to traverse. The three rivers run separately, of course. But, if you […]

Is This How Judaism is for You?

Posted by: erika on: October 2, 2013

An article is fast circulating the Jewishsphere the past two days. “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” an article by the Pew Report has even made it’s way to the NY Times with various comments and commentary on a variety of Jewish Facebook groups and Twitter Feeds. As a JBC, the article doesn’t necessarily apply to […]

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 […]

Why I do What I do

Posted by: erika on: June 21, 2012

Aliza Hausman, a Dominican-American Jewish woman, cyber-friend (hopefully real-live friend) and activist asked a question that I’ve been thinking about for a few days.  She asked, “if we stop saying it, then where will we be, where will our children and grandchildren be?” She was commenting on a recent post I wrote about race/racism and […]

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. […]

This was originally posted on Haaretz.com yesterday I read this piece this morning after finding it on my Facebook timeline, posted by a colleague.  As I read this account of a woman in a situation similar to my own and countless other Jews of Color, I realized that the situation of community and the need […]

Don’t be So Sensitive

Posted by: erika on: April 23, 2012

I love my JOC community.  I’m always learning, always experiencing and always appreciative of the people and families who have come before me.  Being a Jew of Color isn’t always easy.  In fact it can be extremely difficult-especially if you’re in a small community.  Finding your footing as a new Jew is hard, but when […]


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