Surveying Jews of Color


Judaism—it’s past, present, and future—is made up of Jews of color. And yet few studies have made the effort to learn about that diverse Jewish population. It’s time to change that. Read why it is important for you as a Jew of Color to be counted and take the survey!

By MaNishtana

“I have this idea—it’s my mission, in fact—about Jews of color becoming an integral part in Jewish conversations to the point where we have equal representation at the table of “mainstream” American Judaism. I believe that in order for this to happen, we first need to be recognized as a unique facet of the Jewish picture. That is, we need statistics about Jewish diversity in Jewish identity as a whole, beyond denomination and retention rates, for example. What we need is deep, data-driven information about Jews of color—a group that includes those who would be identified ethnically as a “person of color” had they no Jewish heritage; Jews who are phenotypically “white” but who do not come from an Ashkenazi background, such as white Latinos, Greeks, Moroccans, and Italians, among others.

It seems that while nearly every conceivable minutiae of America’s Jewish population has been recorded and re-recorded with painstaking detail, Jews of color have been omitted from just about every Jewish survey of note to date—from the Pew polls, to those of National Jewish Population Surveys (1971, 1990, and 2000). According to my research, for which I used the Jewish Survey Question Bank, a searchable, open-access database of surveys in social research, there is no documentation of a survey dedicated to accounting Jewish diversity. In fact, of the 117 questions that come up when searching for “diversity,” only two questions actually broach the topic of racial or ethnic background.” Read the complete article on Tablet Magazine here

Jews of Color, take the survey HERE

MaNishtana is the psuedonym of Shais Rishon, an Orthodox African-American Jewish blogger, editor-at-large at JN Magazine and author of Thoughts From A Unicorn and Fine, thanks. How are YOU, Jewish?  Follow him on Twitter @MaNishtana.


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