We won’t achieve true justice for anyone until Jews are included in social justice
There’s this bizarre bias, especially among the social justice left, that Jews live in their own post-racial world. Where their ethnicity and identity aren’t worth our protective efforts. Where the Jewish experience is no different than the white experience.
Forget that white Jews are just 70 years from their slaughter where they weren't white enough or that they endure more hate crimes than any other religious group despite being only 2% of the U.S. population. Half of the world's Jews and 60-65% of Israeli Jews aren't white anyway. They are Jews of color.
This essay explores Jewish identity and why it's time to literally stop whitewashing Jewish identity.
Blacks and Jews once modeled a path to end racial distancing
To escape the horrific racism and systemic oppression in the South, beginning in 1916, millions of southern Blacks migrated north and west to places like Chicago, East St. Louis, Compton, Oakland and Baltimore. And to Harlem, which at the time was home to a sizable Yiddish-speaking Jewish community, also trying to make their own way in a still challenging America. Blacks and Jews were each other’s neighbors, customers, and employers.
One result of that was Black men and women becoming Jewish cantors. Cantors lead the Hebrew (and back then Yiddish) prayer songs on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. This odd entry into Jewish religious life presented an opportunity for Jews and Blacks to get to know each other and end what I call racial and ethnic distancing. This essay explores that fascinating time in our history.
When Tragedy Struck Denver’s Jewish Community
Sadly, tragedy struck Denver's Jewish community when five criminals went on a crime spree in August, 2021 and murdered a 19 year-old student from Cleveland who was studying at Denver's premier Jewish learning institution.
We often hear people send "praying for you" wishes, which are always welcome, but this essay dives into why we must not forget action to accompany our prayers. This approach is fundamental to Jewish teachings.
A stranger complimented us by saying we should teach a co-parenting class after divorce
Well-known contemporary spiritual leader Rabbi Yosef Jacobson once remarked, “When a child gets angry with a parent and says, ‘I don’t want to speak to you ever again,’ two hours later the kid is having ice cream with them. When an adult says they won’t speak to you again, twenty years later, they’re still not invited to the wedding of their adult children.” Why? asks Rabbi Jacobson. Because children choose to be happy. Adults choose to be right.
This essay explores how we can raise beautiful children, even after divorce, while putting our adult egos aside.
JEWISH LESSONS FOR COMBATTING OPPRESSION
Passover is the story of the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. From brutal oppression and harsh conditions, the Jewish people were able to cling to their identity, help their fellows and connect with allies in their journey from bondage to freedom. Jeffrey uses the lessons of the Jewish story as a blueprint for our modern race problems, borrowing from his years of learning ancient Jewish texts with renowned rabbis in Israel, New York and St. Louis.
THE FAILED AMERICAN MELTING POT EXPERIMENT
The story of Chanukah has nothing to do with gifts. It’s the story of the Jewish nation in the land of Israel living at the hands of Macedonian rulers. But unlike other abusers of the Jews, these rulers just wanted the Jews to assimilate. To blend in. To become part of the majority. This essay uses the backdrop of the Chanukah story as a guide for us not using the idea of us all melting into one type to achieve national success Author Jeffrey Kass advocates instead we appreciate and celebrate our own and others’ differences rather than melt them away.
READING THE ESSAYS
Articles and videos here may appear in their entirety at other media outlets. Just click the READ MORE link for more details.