"It is something that the Jewish community is just discovering, and for the most part it has quite a big stigma attached." The nine converts, all indigenous Venezuelans, belong to three families.In documentation presented to the Jewish Agency in November, Rabbi Juan Mejia, a Spanish-speaking rabbi from Oklahoma who oversaw the conversions, confirmed that they had all joined the Jewish community of Valencia at his recommendation.The rabbi's allegations of discrimination are nothing new to Diane Tobin, executive director of Be'chol Lashon (In Every Tongue), a national organization that advocates for greater ethnic, cultural and racial diversity within the Jewish community.From that first day at Camp Be'chol Lashon in Sonoma, engaging with Jews of color and working to promote and celebrate the diversity of the Jewish community have challenged me to grow and expand my understanding and appreciation of Jewishness.For Elle Wisnicki, who is part of Be'chol Lashon's New York campus cohort, her Jewish identity is motivated primarily by the biblical mandate of ahavat hager [love of the stranger].Elle's commitment to ahavat hager stems from her difficulty as a child to find a community that embraced her multi-faceted identity.In total, more than a third of couples are intermarried.
A Jewish mother, a slice of herring, a dab of gefilte fish jelly, a shmear of Martin Buber, and a put-down of mayonnaise on white bread for a punch line.
If ever there was an example of the power of water to cleanse, purify, sanctify and heal, this unique Jewish community, living side-by-side its Christian and Muslim neighbors, all sharing from the same fountain of life, is that example.
Asian Americans, be they Vietnamese, Cambodians or Filipinos, are a model minority.
Every Tongue: The Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People, by Diane Tobin, Gary A. They worry about the safety of their children and of the Jewish people, like you do.
Tobin, and Scott Rubin , analyzes diversity in ethnic, racial, religious, and other dimensions of the Jewish people, especially in the USA. As a rabbi whose passion is to assist emergent communities in the Spanish-speaking world, I was very happy to get to know these amazing Venezuelan families and honored to be their rabbi.