a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for the ‘Judaism’ Category

Travel bLog Entry #5 – The Joys of Jewish Study

Posted by: erika on: July 19, 2016

Because of my limited Hebrew skills I’m limited in the classes that I can take at Pardes. So instead of pouring over a line in a tractate of Talmud word by word with a Hebrew/English dictionary, I get to spend my morning sessions talking about the Matriarchs and Patriarchs of Judaism (and I would argue […]

Travel bLog #4-Black and Jewish in the Holy Land

Posted by: erika on: July 15, 2016

WARNING: RAMBLING STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS AHEAD   I posted on FB earlier this week that Jerusalem has been a much welcomed (albeit slightly guilt-ridden) respite from the continuous killing of black bodies in the U.S. And while I would’ve loved to join friends across the States in protest, marches and demonstrations, the realities of the […]

Travel bLog-Entry #3 – Shabbat in Jerusalem

Posted by: erika on: July 9, 2016

My first Shabbat in Jerusalem and I’m alone on purpose. I attended a Minyan at the recommendation of a friend. The room was packed – standing room only. I felt a bit out of place and the Hebrew in the siddur and around me was overwhelming and intimidating. But the רוח ruach, the spirit, of […]

We Should be Working on Jewish Diversity Every Day

Posted by: erika on: June 25, 2016

I was browsing a few shuls in the Seattle/Tacoma area looking for the websites of prayer spaces that I have been in to be added to the Welcoming Synagogues list JMN has been curating for the last several years. As I browsed through some of the local synagogues I personally vetted I and noticed the […]

Heading (Back) to Israel

Posted by: erika on: June 20, 2016

In less than two weeks I will be going back to the Holy Land. A land that is holy to so many people and religious traditions and a land that is holy for me in my Jewish self and me in my Christian past. When I was home recently I listened to a lot of […]

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 […]

Go Fund Me?

Posted by: erika on: May 17, 2016

This is the last post I will write about my upcoming learning trip to Israel and my Go Fund Me Campaign. Afterwards, just my own thoughts about life and Judaism and anticipating going back to Israel. So while I have you, assuming you’re still reading, I will take this moment to plead, beg, encourage, ask […]

Jewish Nose

Posted by: erika on: May 16, 2016

Today as I was exiting my commuter bus in Tacoma I noticed a woman who read Jewish to me. She was a white woman with her hair covered. She wore a skirt that reached her mid-calf and opaque tights and flats. The neckline of her shirt covered her collar and the sleeves reached her wrists. […]

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 […]


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