Category Archives: Jewish Identity

Assuming Identity

general
March 1, 2011

Ruth Abusch-Magder Recently, I was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge with my family when I observed another family ambling toward us. The big-framed man was tall with dark skin and curly hair. The woman was short and roundish. Large gold earrings dangled beneath an updo that was topped off with carefully coiled curls. Both More »

African and African Heritage Jews: Western Academic Perspectives

general
March 1, 2011

Marla Brettschneider Since the first large-scale aliyah of Ethiopian Jews to Israel about 30 years ago, popular Jewish interest in African Jewish communities has blossomed. Western Jewish academic research on African and African heritage Jewish and Jewishly related communities is a rapidly growing area of study. The field offers tremendous possibilities for research into questions More »

My Language, My Self

general
March 1, 2011

Rifka Cook I want to introduce you to my life journey through the Sephardic language known as Ladino, Judezmo, Españolit, Judeo-Spanish, and Lingua de los Djudios, to name a few. This language was spoken for centuries, and accompanied Sephardim wherever they traveled after their expulsion from Spain. They maintained the language of their ancestors as More »

If I try to be like him, who will be like me?

general
March 1, 2011

Yiddish Proverb No study has ever been done to discover the root cause of why people stop identifying with Judaism. If we worry less about Judaism as a culture and more about monotheism, we might find that — suddenly — people have something more to believe in. Jewish identity is more than matzah ball soup More »

Desecrating the Kitchen Table/Restoring Its Sanctity

general
March 1, 2011

Richard Litvak Oshek, to oppress the laborer, is forbidden by the Torah — as it is written: “Lo ta’ashok,” “You shall not oppress a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay his wages on the same day, before the sun More »

Discussion Guide - Jewish Identity

March 1, 2011

What does “Jewish” look like, and how do our own stereotypes limit our openness to and welcoming of a wider array of Jews? How does a post-ethnic America — with an African-American president — influence Jewish identity? What should joining the Jewish people require? How does one become Jewish? Is accepting post-ethnic Judaism surrendering to assimilation More »

An Exchange with the Editor

general
March 1, 2011

Susan, I just looked through the latest issue of Sh’ma, all about Jewish identity.  I am amazed that you have 20 pages on the subject, but not a single article, or even paragraph, on the Jewish identity of the majority of our people who self-declare as secular. There is so much now being written in More »