Ronay-Jinich hopes the findings of this study will inspire communities to continue to offer and expand support to multi-ethnic Jewish families and communities, creating a community of inclusion and multiculturalism for future generations.
In their study, Rose Espinola will collect oral histories about traditions and spirituality among Jews of Color during pregnancy, birth, abortion, pregnancy loss, and post-partum. “As a data scientist, I love oral history,” Espinola said. “I know that data comes in many forms and that qualitative data is really rich.”
In Summer of 2022, Lingxuan Liang began digging into archives to investigate the history of American Jews adopting Asian children. Liang is a graduate student at Brandeis University where she studies American Jewish history. Her intersectional identity as a Jew of Color informs her research as she unearths forgotten histories and new narratives at the intersection of race and religion.
Merging her academic training with her community-building among Latino Jews, Ariela Ronay-Jinich developed a research study that explores how Latino Jewish parents navigate the process of transmitting culture, language, and values to their children.
Beyond the Count helps make clear for our professional and communal ecosystem the enormous value of nurturing Jewish spaces that center and honor JoC. And it was the national response to the report itself that communicated how important Beyond the Count is to American Jews, and the wider, religiously integrated national community.
In order to make space for the multiracial future that is dawning, the white Jewish community cannot only view Jews of Color through the racial harm they face, but also must begin to honor the vibrancy they infuse into contemporary American Judaism.
Having to navigate others’ perceptions is exhausting—some even refer to this as racial fatigue. In our report’s section on double consciousness, the research team writes, “Many of our study’s participants shared how they consciously compartmentalize parts of themselves in order to reduce the stress of double consciousness.”
As the white Jewish community confronts the reality that Jews of Color have long been excluded from communal and institutional Jewish settings, many community members and organizations are seeking to include Jews of Color. While inclusion efforts must be made to counteract the inequities that persist in our community, efforts that rely on tokenism will not heal our racial wounds.