The traditional image of a Jew was set on its head at an interfaith and multicultural discussion Aug. 12 at Temple Sinai. Jews who are black, brown and biracial told their stories about how they observe their Judaism and what it means to them.
They discussed their racially, ethnically and multi-culturally diverse backgrounds and shared aspects of their personal lives, culture and traditions. In addition, they relayed how they navigate the world as a Jew who looks different, mostly because of their skin color.
Jews who originated from Northeast Africa have darker skin, said Tarece Johnson, a Temple Sinai member and organizer of the event. She said the event was intended to offer a perspective on the rich diversity in the diaspora and Jewish community. It was expected “to inspire, inform and encourage our Jewish community to be more racially inclusive by learning, teaching and depicting Jewish diversity in Jewish school curricula, Sunday/Hebrew schools, camps, Jewish day schools, Jewish leadership, Jewish books, Jewish libraries and other media. Representation matters and it is very important for Jews to know and appreciate the diversity in our community and around the world.”
The event was sponsored by Temple Sinai and The Global Purpose Approach, which Johnson founded to promote an understanding, appreciation and respect for diversity, inclusion, equity and social/economic/education justice.