The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism

The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism

Indiana University Press
320 pages
22 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-253-21927-5; Cloth ISBN: 978-0-253-34902-6

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz

Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz exposes and challenges the common assumptions about whom and what Jews are, by presenting in their own voices, Jews of color from the Iberian Peninsula, Asia, Africa, and India. Drawing from her earlier work on Jews and whiteness, Kaye/Kantrowitz delves into the largely uncharted territory of Jews of color and argues that Jews are an increasingly multiracial people—a fact that, if acknowledged and embraced, could foster cross-race solidarity to help combat racism. This engaging and eye-opening book examines the historical and contemporary views on Jews and whiteness as well as the complexities of African/Jewish relations, the racial mix and disparate voices of the Jewish community, contemporary Jewish anti-racist and multicultural models, and the diasporic state of Jewish life in the United States.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • A Note on Language
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Are Jews White?
    • What’s White
    • The People of Contradictions
    • Apartheid/American Style
    • Jews: Race or Religion?
    • Christian Centricity
  • 2. Black/Jewish Imaginary and Real
    • Real 1: The Black/Jewish Tangle
    • Real 2: Am I Possible?
    • Imaginary 1: Exodus
    • Imaginary 2: Media Coverage
    • Imaginary 3: Media Hype
    • Real 3: Solidarity
    • Real 4: Nationalism and Feminism
  • 3. Who Is This Stranger?
    • The Cultures of Jews
    • Mizrahim
    • Sephardim
    • Post-Colonial Jews
    • Feminist Ritual
    • Ashkenazim
    • De-Ashkenization
    • U.S. Jews
  • 4. Praying with Our Legs
    • Fighting Slumlords, Building Coalitions: Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (Chicago)
    • Confronting Power in the Jewish Community: Jews United for Justice (St. Louis)
    • Trying to Change Congregational Life: Jewish Community Action (Minneapolis)
    • Bringing Our Bodies to the Picket Line: Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (New York)
    • The Place to Go for a Progressive Jewish Voice
  • 5. Judaism Is the Color of This Room
    • The Temple of My Familiar: Ayecha (National)
    • Crossing Many Borders: Ivri-NASAWI/Levantine Center (International)
    • A Mixed Multitude: Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation (Chicago)
    • Respect and Knowledge: Beta Israel of North America (International)
    • Hospitality Is the First Principle: Congregation Naharat Shalom (Albuquerque)
    • Jews Were All People of Color: Center for Afro-Jewish Studies (Philadelphia)
    • I Promised Them It Wasn’t Going to Happen Again: Central Reform Synagogue (St. Louis)
    • Jews of Color Speak Out
    • Transformation in Partnership
  • 6. Toward a New Diasporism
    • If I Forget Thee O Jerusalem
    • If I Forget Thee O Doikayt, O Haviva Ottomania
    • Home
    • Diasporism and the Holocaust
    • Israel and Diasporism
    • Anti-Semitism and Diasporism
    • A Jewish Tradition: Radical Justice-Seeking
    • To Change the Way Racism Is Fought: Shifting the Center
    • Diasporism and the Colors of Jews
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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