a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Talking Honestly About Jews and Racisim

Posted on: June 13, 2012

My post on The Sisterhood is live.  Here’s a small snippet-

A few week ago I had two very different experiences having to do with my necklace. At a party a friend of a friend asked about the Chai around my neck and then asserted that there weren’t any black Jews. On the ride home another person, a stranger, noticed the Chai and then pulled out his gold Magen David. He shook my hand and, with a genuine smile, called me sister.

They were both white male thirty-something Jews, but the experiences were very different.

If I asked my Jewish friends – a mix of black Orthodox Jews by birth, black Jews by Choice, Hispanic Jews, and liberal-lefty Ashkenazi Jews – if Jews are racist, they would all answer yes. They would site the treatment of Arabs in Israel, and the current situation with undocumented Sudanese immigrants in the country. They would tell me personal stories of hearing nasty words said around them in synagogue, or they might share their experiences being the only black child in yeshiva. My Ashkenazi friends have told me about discussions around Shabbat tables, where, among friends, hateful comments about Arabs or blacks littered the conversation.

1 Response to "Talking Honestly About Jews and Racisim"

I don’t understand why anyone would say “there are no black Jews”. It’s beyond ridiculous.

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