a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

More Questions You Should Never Ask a Jew of Color

Posted on: September 28, 2012

I wrote a post about this in June of 2011 and the questions are all the same and as a Jew of Color we hear them all of the time.

The Help Questions: Do you work here? Do you know where room 101 is? Are you watching the children for this service? Do you need to check my bag? Are you someone’s nanny? Are you picking up a child?

The Pew Questions: Is it your first time in a synagogue? Do you read Hebrew? Do you understand what’s happening?

The Annoying Kiddish Questions: Have you had gefilte fish before? So, what brought you to service today? So, where’s your family from?

They all lead to one question that some people ask outright and the question that others dance around: ARE YOU A CONVERT?

How do you answer that question? Do you answer that question? And what about our faces says “unofficially Jewish” when we’re simply Jewish.

I struggle with the prefixes we use-heck I use them all of the time JBC (Jew by Choice) JOC (Jew of Color) JBB (Jew by Birth) – aren’t we simply Jews?

My good friend Chava has written another important, smart, and as always completely frank and honest post about this question that many Jews who don’t “look” Jewish are faced with. Check it out: Are You A Convert?

It’s the new year and we’re barely 48 hours out of Yom Kippur-is it too idealistic of me to hope for more openness to diversity in 5773?

 

1 Response to "More Questions You Should Never Ask a Jew of Color"

[...] 1)      that Jews are found in cultures all over the world, and speak be’chol lashon – in every tongue! 2)      that Jews come in every color! 3)      not to ask Jews of color if they have converted, or other exclusionary questions. [...]

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