Philanthropy can serve as a catalyst to inspire people and organizations to take specific actions. It is simultaneously a tool of support, of partnerships, of empowerment, and even of accountability. When implemented with intentionality—such as by building in racial equity and justice goals, objectives, and consequences when we fall short—philanthropy can energize an ecosystem and an entire community.
Racial Equity-Informed Philanthropy features dynamic chapters authored by multiracial leaders in the Jews of Color community. Collectively, the authors hold expertise in the areas of race, philanthropy, and Jewish wisdom.
As a result of directing the JoCI NY Hub, and underpinned by my educational background in Asian American studies and sociology, I have gained deeper understanding of what it means to create belonging through Jewish educational programming, much of which I believe can be applied to school environments.
Jewish culture is deeply rooted in traditional core values, structures and norms often held by our American Jewish organizations. At the same time, today’s American Jewish community is more diverse and represents more backgrounds than ever.
This was not the first time a white Jew has questioned the authenticity of my Judaism based on the color of my skin. It was, however, the first time a white Jew had done this to me in my own home.
Pointing to the many times in Bamidbar that Jews are counted, Ilana Kaufman explores the question: Who is counted? Being counted matters because to be counted is an affirmation of belonging; being counted provides context and identity. Using National census and Jewish studies data, Kaufman shows that Jews of Color are already a substantial percentage of the Jewish population.
Among the Asian Americans speaking up during this time, Asian American Jews are sharing their stories of anti-Asian racism so other Asian Jews can navigate this challenging time collectively and so the white Jewish community can become more educated on the ways in which anti-Asian bigotry continues to show up in the Jewish community and beyond. These 6 articles detail the lived experiences of Asian-Jewish identity, the need for solidarity, and a call for change—directly from the voices of fellow Jews.
But just because Jews of Color have been under-considered by researchers doesn’t mean we’re the first to pay attention to our community. In fact, several studies and other writings paved the way for us—and our research team—to have a foundational understanding of the JoC community. 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.