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.
The data in Beyond the Count illustrate that not only are JoC-only spaces meaningful, but they are essential to fostering and retaining a deep sense of belonging in the Jewish community for Jews of Color.
One of the most striking learnings from Beyond the Count for many institutional leaders has been the disconnect between the diversity of Jewish people, experiences, and identities that exist in the community and the monolithic institutions that make up the Jewish communal ecosystem.
Using our own familiarity with past studies and connecting with our research team to see which writings on Jews of Color helped inform their knowledge of the community, we’ve developed a list of some research studies and books from the 2000s to today that shaped research on Jews of Color, and on whose shoulders we stand.
An important and exciting part of the Jews of Color Initiative is our ability to advance research about diverse Jewish communities.
For Dr. Dalya Perez, it was a no-brainer to join the research team of our ongoing Count Me In study...This work also offers a place of healing for Perez’s own life experience navigating identities that are seen as incompatible.