Ahaverim: Hawaiian Jews
- Imani Altemus-Williams, writer and documentary producer, BA in Global Studies from the New School and MA in Indigenous Journalism at Sami University of Applied Sciences
- Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt, cultural worker, place-based artist and researcher, and doctoral student at Hiroshima City University in Japan
- Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp, writer, cultural practitioner, and historian of Hawai’i and Native Hawaiians
Kānaka Maoli and Jews share similar ideas on the sacredness of, and responsibility to, the land and our ancestors. Although Ashkenazi Jews make up only 2.6% of Hawai’i’s population, they are disproportionately represented in government, business, and land ownership. Meanwhile, Kānaka Maoli, who are native to the land, make up a disproportionate ratio of houseless individuals and incarcerated people. This research seeks to build better relationships between Ashkenazi Jews in Hawai’i and the Kānaka Maoli community, while confronting our complex relationships as Jews to the land, and by extension, our ideas of wealth and identity. As part of the study, the research team will hold dialogue sessions and a retreat focused on building haverim (חברים) or solidarity and friendship. This study considers race, class and the experiences of Jews of Color in Hawai’i of varying ethnic identities, as well as conversations among participants who have converted to Judaism.
JOC Pregnancy and Postpartum Research Project
- Rose Espinola, student and researcher in Aleph’s Earth-Based Judaism program
- Samira Mehta, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder; research advisor
The JOC Pregnancy and Postpartum Research Project explores the customs and practices of Jews of Color in the United States during pregnancy, birth, pregnancy loss, abortion, and postpartum. Using oral history methodology, which prioritizes participants’ narrations of their lived experiences, the project seeks to create an archive of the ways that Jews of Color in the US draw on traditions and spiritual practices during their experience of pregnancy, postpartum, and pregnancy loss. In preparation for the collection of oral histories from Jews of Color, the research team has already completed the most comprehensive review of secondary resources about Jewish postpartum ritual to date; the historical record is limited but still underexamined.
To participate in the JoC Pregnancy and Postpartum Research project, mail BJMHealth2022@gmail.com
Jewish Asian Adoptees and History of Transracial Adoption
- Lingxuan Liang, joint Masters in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University
- Professor ChaeRan Freeze, Frances and Max Elkon Chair in Modern Jewish History, advisor and lead investigator
This study examines the historical factors shaping Jewish adoption of Asian children and the contemporary experiences and identities of Jewish Asian adoptees. Using archival research, Lingxuan Liang explores the impact of systemic barriers, personal choice, and changing social circumstances that have contributed to these adoption patterns, adding to the canon of non-Eurocentric research. This study also uses qualitative interviews to learn about contemporary racialized dynamics, such as how Jewish Asian adoptees perceive their own Jewish identity, the Jewish identity of their parents, and that of other Ashkenazi Jews. Liang’s study also considers generational differences and how the experiences of Jewish Asian adoptees speak to the larger picture of American Jewish life and Jewish-Asian relations.
JoC Experiences with Trauma and Social Change
- Eugenia L. Weiss, PhD, PsyD, MSW/MA Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Social Work and President of the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation
- Sara L. Schwartz, PhD, MSW, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
- Malikah Marrus, DSW, MSW, Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
- Jessica A. Strassman, MSW, LCSW, doctoral student at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice
Building upon the Jews of Color Initiative’s 2021 study, Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color, this research project will further examine the experiences of Jews of Color, an already marginalized and stigmatized group, in the context of contemporary periods of historic social change. The study explores the ways that recent national and global violence adds to historical experiences of trauma and oppression associated with intersections of faith, race, and ethnicity. This study focuses on midlife and older adults (50+) who have memories of surviving prior genocides, violence, and historical shifts, advancing the knowledge base about JoC identities among older adults.
To participate in the JoC Experiences with Trauma and Social Change project, view their flyer.
Olamim: Research on Latinx JoC Families in the Bay Area
- Ariela Ronay-Jinich, researcher, MA candidate at Mills College
- Dr. Analucia Lopezrevoredo, Executive Director of Jewtina y. Co
- Dr. Priya Mariana Shimpi Driscoll, Professor of Education and Associate Dean at Mills College, research advisor
The purpose of this research is to find out what strategies and program models could best support language learning and positive ethnic identity formation among Latinx Jewish families with children in the Bay Area. This study is aimed at exploring how Latinx Jewish families in the Bay navigate their multicultural, multilingual, racial, and intersectional identities as they make educational and community-engagement choices for their children. The study seeks to understand these families’ goals, desires, and visions for their children regarding language and culture, the challenges they face, and the community opportunities and personal or family assets that help them realize their family language and culture goals.
Olamim is presenting their research findings on February 16, 2023. Register here.