Aliza Hausman is a Latina Orthodox Jewish convert, freelance writer, blogger and educator, who blogs daily at Memoirs of a Jewminicana. She recently shared some thoughts on race and Gates at “Tolerant Nation.”

AlizaHausman
Did you hear the one about the black Harvard professor who got arrested breaking into his own home? No, this is not a joke. It was the beginning of a Shabbos lunch that left me traumatized.

It’s always the same. I feel safe, comfortable and carefree, and suddenly, punched in the gut, violated, uncomfortable, and all the cares of the world weigh on me. When I feel safe, I feel part of the Jewish community, but when I do not, I feel like an outsider on the outskirts, not fitting in.

My husband and I started speaking out about racism in the Jewish community when a friend asked us to speak at a synagogue in Washington Heights, in my hometown of New York City. As an interracial Jewish couple (my husband is white, I am Dominican), our friend was sure we’d have plenty to say. I wasn’t. But as I started to write about my experiences in Washington Heights (from both white Jews, who thought I was dark and foreign, to Dominicans, who thought I was too light and American), I filled four single-spaced typed pages. I knew from the stories of other Jews of color that this meant I was lucky. I learned still others had been even luckier. (more)

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Lisa Klug

Wordie. Foodie. Jewie. Nerdie. Ashkefardic keyboard addict. Visit me at lisaklug.com, on my travels and in the pages of my books, "Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe," and "Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe."

8 Comments

  • She mentions her hair at least twice. Why? She looks Sephardic. It’s unfortunate she’s a magnet for ignorant Jews who are unaware that their own people come in every flavor imaginable….but that doesn’t excuse her own fixation, or reason why she thinks her hair sets her apart from other Jews?

  • Self-regarding lefty guilt-mongering at its worst. And as for Skip Gates– white or black, you don’t f**k with the police. It’s as simple as that. Really.

  • What Morrissey said.

    “Jews of color”?

    Ewwwwwww.

    Sorry – this is a non-issue here in Israel, and increasingly in larger, more diverse communities outside.

    On top of that – many of the Jews she describes have been subjected to Black anti-semitism. Something conveniently omitted by the author, who already knows who’s to blame.

  • Good point. Even Gates has spoken out against anti-semitism from his community.
    Has this young couple bothered to take their confused identity politics out into the Latin community where antisemitism is a growing phenomenon?

  • I get confused when reading an article that says, for example, “I’ve experienced racism as a non-white member inside the Jewish community” and the response is “has the thought about the fact that some people of color are anti-semites”? What’s your point? These facts are unrelated, even if they are both bad. Your response is not a refutation of her position.
    Also, her article mentions that, yes, she and her husband DO take her message into non-Jewish communities.

    Finally, I find the comment about race and ethnicity being a “non-issue” in Israel to be laughingly untrue.
    A recent article in the Economist about Colombia’s problems integrating and respecting the rights of it’s afro-Colombian population quoted some expert as saying that the worst kind of discrimination is when a society claims it doesn’t exist as all. Pretending everyone is equal and there is no problem means you can’t talk about it and there can’t be any solution.

  • What the hell does the problems at Columbia have to do with anything?
    Look, issues of color, non-color, these aren’t Jewish issues. A Jew is a Jew. If that concept is lost on someone, they’re at fault. Unfortunately, it appears that concept is mostly lost on the author of this article.

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