While I am not a typical follower of celebrity gossip, I do tend to follow stories in the world of Jewish celebrities. So I was excited to read in Jewcy Magazine that Yitz Jordan, the rapper known as Y-Love, has recently “come out”. In this article, he talks about his experiences as a Jew of color, an Orthodox Jew, and a Jew by choice, and how these other variables have influenced his decision to come out.
I was particularly struck by his description of an experience at a Jews of color round-table, where one producer’s comment about the “impossibility” of finding an LGBTQ Jew of color for the panel struck a nerve. He talks about how Jews like him have “been in existence forever,” and how hurtful it is when others in the Jewish community do not recognize that there are others in their midst very much like him.
It is important to remember from this article that a single individual or family may differ from the stereotypical Jew in many different ways. Just as Yitz is a Jew of color, a Jew by choice, and gay, so there are multiracial intermarried families, and same-sex couples where one partner has a disability, and interfaith blended families. As a new paradigm emerges in which the Jewish community becomes more aware and inviting of interfaith marriages, there is still much work to be done around accepting Jews of color, financially-challenged Jews, Jews with disabilities, LGBTQ Jews, and many other groups.
As Jewish professionals, it is our duty to keep all of these variables in mind as we seek to create a more inviting and inclusive Jewish community. As an organization seeks to become more welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ Jews, for example, it is important for them to think about their intermarriage policies, as LGBTQ Jews partner with non-Jews at higher rates than straight Jews. As the community seeks to include interfaith families, it is important to create policies that will explicitly welcome people of color, whether Jewish or not. As we seek to widen the tent, it is important to think about all of the variables that may serve as barriers to true welcoming. We at JOI are happy to hear stories like Jordan’s, and congratulate him on his decision to officially come out. We hope his story will inspire others like him, and look forward to sharing their stories as well.
No comments yet.