Friday, July 4, 2008

Black and Hasidic

An interesting interview (audio):
The Abrahamson family of New York City has a unique binary reality. They are both African-American [the family does not identify as AA -ig] and Hasidic Jews. In this week's Faith Matters conversation, the Abramsons discuss belonging to two communities that often misunderstand one another.
The show, btw, is focused on race and race issues, not Jewish issues. Jewish sources seem to actively putting Black/AA Jews up front to challenge the stereotype of Jews as super-white, and I'm not sure if that will prove to be wise or beneficial for any of us in the end. It has the potential to make a fetish of black Jews. Also, perhaps less obviously, I wonder if white Jews are hiding behind others because we're afraid of speaking up? We are not any less Jewish or any less deserving of an end to antisemitism.

But the interview is interesting for a number of reasons. Jewish culture contains so many subcultures and every one of them has something important to tell us. And I don't think it's a bad thing that the Abramsons are able to sidestep some of the pitfalls other Jews might face.

No comments: