Finding out there are at least 1 million Jews of Color in the U.S., confirmed by our study and others, was an incredible first step. When faced with the constant questioning of the JoC community’s size, it is vital to be able to use demographic data to inform the larger U.S. Jewish community about the racial diversity of the community itself. However, the experiences of Jews of Color cannot be revealed through demographic counts—numbers are one-dimensional. There is so much more to learn about our JoC family, and understanding experiences requires asking well-considered, sincere questions. So, that’s exactly what we’re setting out to do.
The Jews of Color Initiative has commissioned a study to be conducted by researchers at Stanford University. This study will go beyond assessing the population counts of Jews of Color, learning about and documenting the diverse and varied experiences and identities of Jews of Color living in the U.S.
From experiences of racism and exclusion to moments of joy and community connectedness, Jews of Color have experiences that are unique because of racial identity, racism, and how that all intersects with experiences in and as part of, or not, the Jewish community. Historically the Jewish community hasn’t understood the experiences of Jews of Color because Jews of Color have not been asked about our experiences. With our partners at Staford University, we can help shift this dynamic. Here’s how:
- We know there are at least 1,000,000 Jews of Color in the United States, and we are highly motivated to ensure our research findings have a significant place next to tools like the Pew Portrait of Jewish Americans. So, we have set a goal of having at least 1,000 Jews of Color participate in our survey. 1,000 Jews of Color—nearly a third of the sample size for Pew—will, according to technical research measures, formally legitimize our experiences, perspectives, our data.
- We will ask thoughtful questions that really matter to Jews of Color, to the Jewish communal ecosystem, to the Jewish people. Beyond numbers, it’s so important to understand what Jews of Color have encountered moving through Jewish communities; how Jews of Color think about and understand Jewish identity; how systemic racism has affected Jews of Color in Jewish spaces, and how one’s specific racial and Jewish backgrounds intersect and inform experiences.
- We will ensure the learnings from this survey, from more than 1,000 Jews of Color, inform, inspire, and impact the Jewish communal ecosystem so that it is more equitable and just.
We are at a time in U.S. Jewish history when Jews of Color are building community, working towards equity, and constructing the very concepts of Jews of Color and Jewish identity. It’s a powerful moment to have your voice heard. And we need you.
If you self-identify as a Jew of Color and would like to participate, visit JoCSurvey.org