Jews Color Race

Years of Activity: 2013 - 2014

Research Status:

Not Active

Alfred Bodenheimer, Emily Budick, Sarit Cofman-Simhon, Stav Hasidim-Kormberg, Henriette Dahan-Kalev, Ayala Kesar-Sugarman, Noa Sophie Kohler, Fran Markowitz, Antonia Schmid, Chen Tannenbaum-Donowitz, Linda Weinhouse, Yonah Zianga

In January 2013 the research group “Jews Color Race” began its discussions of issues related to Jewish identities in academic and social discourse around the world. The objective of the research group was to examine the impact of the racialization of discourses about the Jews. Recent advances in genetics have reintroduced biological definitions of Jewish identity, yet the debate is still conducted in fixed binaries of black and white.

The group sought to challenge these binary poles and to discuss both how Jews are perceived and how Jews perceive other ethnic groups in the context of social and ideological constructions so as to understand better the impact of prejudiced perceptions on representations in popular culture and academic discourse. The research group focused on skin color, racism and anti-Semitism, stereotyping, relations between Jews and other “others” (Blacks, Muslims, Arabs), globalization, post-colonialism, the Jewish body, Black Jews / Jews as Blacks, European diversity, and Chinese and Indian Jews.

The group met for monthly three-hour sessions.

Participating in this group were researchers and doctoral candidates in the fields of anthropology, sociology, genetics, cultural studies, literature, and Jewish and world history.

In June 2014 a symposium will be held that will deal with the image of Jewish identities in the public and academic discourse around the world. The symposium will focus on how Jews are perceived by others and how Jews perceive other ethnic groups, in the context of cultural and ideological structures. The aim is to understand better the impact of stereotyped perceptions on representations of Jews in popular culture and in academic discourse. 

Participants: Gabriel Motzkin, Eitan Bar-Yosef, Rob Baum, Alfred Bodenheimer, Emily Budick, Harvey Chisick, Sarit Cofman-Simhon, Henriette Dahan-Kalev, Sarah Fainberg, Seth Frantzman, Lindsay Kaplan, Jonathan Karp, Ayala Keissar-Sugarman, Sophie Noa Kohler, Dani Kranz, Daniel Lis, Judith Neulander, Naftali Rothenberg, Rachel Rubinstein, Yehuda Sharim, Efraim Sicher, Jennifer Stollman, Michael Toch, Linda Weinhouse, Yonah Zianga