As the Jewish community continues to grow in diversity, many of the voices that represent the emerging face of Judaism – children of intermarriage, Jews-by-Choice, multiracial Jews – are not being heard. But a new show on The Jewish Channel hopes to reverse that trend and give these folks a place to talk about their identity and their views on the Jewish community. Called “Jews of Color,” this roundtable discussion “explores the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Jewish community, sharing the unique perspectives of Jews from African-American, Asian, Hispanic and other ‘non-white’ backgrounds.”
At JOI, one of the principles of our Big Tent Judaism Coalition is to celebrate diversity and leave behind assumptions about what Jews “look like.” We don’t all have white, European heritage. We have spent thousands of years of living across the globe and integrating into a wide range of communities and cultures. Yet many people in our community who don’t fit the stereotype – who don’t “look Jewish” – still find themselves on the outside looking in.
In giving a platform to underserved populations, the Jewish community can do a better job of responding to their needs. What are the barriers they face? What perspectives do they have on Judaism and what it means to be Jewish? These are important questions, and the answers will offer valuable insight into what we can do to better welcome in not only multiracial, but all those who feel they are too often ignored by the broader Jewish community.
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