Jewish Identity Category

For days now, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this question: “Why don’t people know Harvey Milk is Jewish?” A few days ago, I added Harvey Milk to the wikipedia list of Jewish American politicians. I saw the film, MILK, starring Sean Penn, with a private audience of mostly Jews, queer and straight. […]

Jen Chau, founder and director of SWIRL, (and an eagerly anticipated contributor to JVoices) will be presenting this Sunday at Inside the Activists’ Studio (which JVoices is a co-sponsor) on how activism needs a serious make-over, and tools for building a sustainable activist life. We caught up with her before the day’s event to ask […]

Give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien. You must not be partial in judging: hear out the small and the great alike; you shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. Deuteronomy 1:16-17 The human mind may […]

I’m not white, I’m Jewish

In: Jewish Identity, Race

“I’m Not White, I’m Jewish” is the name of the song featured in the YouTube video above. The rap song has clear sociological issues. As the performing artist strums along to his guitar, the camera pans around the room of Jewish preteens. And almost every face in the room? White, of course. But hey, as […]

How Do You Jew?

In: Jewish Diversity, Jewish Identity, Jewish Life

Among all of the deeply rewarding elements of the pulpit rabbinate, none has been as meaning-filled, for me personally and on a broader communal level, as guiding the study and rituals of those who choose Judaism and the Jewish people as their own. Each of the individuals who have invited me to join them — […]

Ah, those New York Jews. Woody Allen, Philip Roth, Ed Koch, Alfred Kazin. Katz’s Deli, Zabar’s, Pastrami Sandwiches, Lox and Bagels, Matzoh Ball Soup, Chopped Liver, Gefilte Fish. The Lower East Side. All one big Ashkenazi world. I was once told a story by Mickey Kairey, one of the patron saints of the Brooklyn Syrian […]

Ashkenaz will be premiering in the U.S. at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival tomorrow, August 10th at 3:15pm at the JCCSF. I caught up with Rachel Leah Jones, director of Ashkenaz, before her U.S. premiere to ask her a few questions about the making of the film, what she hopes audiences will take away, […]

David Shasha is an independent scholar of Jewish history and culture and the founder and director of The Center for Sephardic Heritage in Brooklyn, New York. Since the emergence of multiple Diasporas over the course of two millennia Jews have found themselves assimilating in various degrees to the cultures of their adopted homelands. While the […]

The Christian Science Monitor has an article out this week by Patrik Jonsson discussing how “Conversions to Judaism among African-Americans are growing in a way that could affect the presidential election.” Jonsson writes of a “black conversion movement,” portrayed as a recent trend of African-Americans becoming Jews by choice that reflects a particular moment in […]

Crossposted on Jewesses With Attitude Welcome everyone to a new weekly feature on JVoices — This Week In History! In this feature, which is built on the tremendous amount of research compiled by the Jewish Women’s Archive, we will be looking at significant achievements made by American Jewish Women throughout the year, and examining their […]

Please note: since August 2010, JVoices has ceased publishing new work. We hope you enjoy the articles that remain live as an archive and trusted resource of bold Jewish writing of our time.


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