The decision made by the American government recently to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman has, for some strange reason, met with criticism from certain corners.

“This is political correctness run amok,” say some. “Why dishonor Andrew Jackson?” “Where will this all end,” they say.

This criticism has met, in turn, with cries of racism. Andrew Jackson was a racist slave owner who engaged in genocide of Native Americans, people point out. Tubman, they argue, was a Black Woman who risked her own safety to fight against slavery.

Also, all of the people honored on American money are dead white men. Isn’t it time for a little bit of diversity?

Almost 40 years ago they tried to put a woman, Susan B. Anthony, on the money when they created a short lived thoroughly unpopular one dollar coin. And who the heck was Anthony anyway? Is she the one who knitted the first flag for Washington or was that his wife Martha?

It has long been cited that Americans too frequently sanctify dead, white men while ignoring the contributions of the nation’s varied ethnic minorities as well as those of women. This is why it made sense to pick a Black woman as the first new historical figure to be honored on American currency in almost a century.

The selection of Tubman kills two birds with one stone: she was both black and a woman. But there is still one problem – she is also already dead. So what about honoring a living person?

This would, of course, kill three birds with one stone. But let us take this a step farther. What about Jews. Have not the Jewish people made considerable contributions to the United States of America?

So here is my proposal. Let us kill not two, not three, but four birds with one stone by picking a living Jewish black woman of importance to put on the money.

You heard me right! And there are, actually, quite a few to choose from. And before anyone complains that some of the women who I suggest here are not technically Jewish, let’s just agree to include people with at least one Jewish parent. Here is but a short list:

Rashida Jones – This actress is best known for her performances on the hit television comedy series “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” And she now stars in her own show called “Angie Tribeca.”

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones

The 40 year old is the daughter of famed music producer Quincy Jones and television actress Peggy Lipton who was best known for playing an undercover cop in “The Mod Squad” in the 1970s. Lipton was born and raised in New York, the granddaughter of Jews who had fled Eastern Europe in the early part of the Twentieth Century.

Tracee Ellis Ross – This is the daughter of legendary singer Dianna Ross who is a successful actress in her own right. Ross can now be seen on the new hit comedy series Black-ish and previously starred on the show “Girlfriends.”

Tracie Ellis Ross

Tracie Ellis Ross

The 43 year old was born Tracee Joy Silberstein in Los Angeles. Her father was a Jewish business manager named Robert Ellis Silberstein.

Lisa Bonet — Most people are surprised when they first learn that this former 80s teen sex idol who starred on the Cosby Show is Jewish. Her father was an African-American opera singer and her mother was a Jewish teacher named Arlene Litman.

Sure Bonet has not done much recently, but her years On Cosby (let’s forget about the fact that Bill Cosby is a rapist because this is about Bonet, not him) made her a legend and she even got her own spin off.

Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet

Zoe Kravitz — Now this is an interesting choice. Kravitz is the daughter of singer Lenny Kravitz, whose father is Jewish and his mother African American. She is also the daughter of Lisa Bonet. So both of her parents are half black and half Jewish which means that she is also half black and half Jewish herself.

Kravitz is an up and coming film star. The 27 year old has appeared in the Divergent series, X Men: First Class and the recent Mad Max reboot Mad Max: Fury Road. Acting since she was a teenager, Kravits already has 29 different film credits under her belt in less than a decade of work.


Now you are probably thinking that if we put a Jewish entertainer on the money then it should be someone who was really a big deal who made a real mark in Hollywood like Groucho Marx or George Burns. And if it should be someone living and a woman then why not Barbra Streisand who is both a great singer and an Oscar winning actress. Or how about Goldie Hawn, also an Oscar winner, or maybe someone more recent like Sara Silverman or Scarlett Johansson.

Well remember folks, the idea here is to cover all the bases which is why I am suggesting living Black Jewish women.

If you have any suggestions for more candidates please contact Jewlicious. We will be conducting a contest to see who can come up with the most interesting candidates. The winner will receive an all-expense paid trip for two to Fredonia. Submissions must be post marked by April 15th, 2011.

About the author


Gil Tanenbaum made aliyah from New York after he completed college. He Has lived in Israel for over 20 years. He has an MBA from Bar Ilan University and is a contributor for various blogs.