Rabbi Angela Buchdahl on Jews and Race; Election 2020 Debate
Of walking into the sanctuary and feeling that the security guard trailed them in and watch them differently or comments. They get from well-meaning congregants. WHO ASK ARE YOU JEWISH UP? Believe me as you have color I have received that for most of my life to hearing. Are you from this neighborhood? You should go to synagogue in your neighborhood to are you circumcise? I mean there are some unbelievable things people don't even. Acknowledge or think of is racist that they're just insensitive and racist and. People on the they make people feel other. I guess as to say so there is that kind of reckoning in addition to the fact of just thinking about whether or not. We been proactive about. Everything from our hiring practices to how we? Might spend our resources. We question. We recently asked ourselves. We're thinking about hiring. You know certain kind of cleaning service that will do a good job with the pandemic and really deep cleaning. And we decided to ask the question. They hire people who were formerly incarcerated since this has been part of our issue of making sure people have second chances and. At Central, we will hire people who've been formerly incarcerated, and that's important to us, and we asked that question. They said that they don't so now. We have an opportunity to push them on that or to make a decision that we don't give them our business, so we need to actually take steps that are changing some of these systems that are in place, not just saying the right things so so. So you actually answered a question. I was going to ask you because there has been this conversation ongoing for several months about Jews of color that phrase Jews of color, and whether or not, Jews of color are adequately measured or adequately recognized equally recognized in their congregations and I was going to ask. Do you consider yourself a Jew of color? I always find it so funny when people ask me. Me If. I think I'm a Jew of color. I feel like it's so obvious that I. Am you know I was born in South Korea Corinne was my first language. I think that I appear Asian. And it's interesting that some people are surprised when I say that I consider myself a Jew of color I will say absolutely that my experience experiences. An Asian woman of color is very different than being. Being a black man who is a Jew of color, because racism operates differently in America I'm not going to get trailed by security guard, coming into a sanctuary like he did, but I recognize a lot of the other comments. He mentioned of the way that people would make assumptions that I didn't belong and still actually even when I would read Hebrew and preach and sing and do all the things and where? The people had such a disconnect that they would still say, but are you Jewish and. You know it contributes to the fact that when I was named the Rabbi of Central Synagogue that a Jewish publication made it their headline. It's official. non-jews can become rabbis, so it is stunningly racist. I think the way that I have no still encountered. What people would call maybe a kind of tribalism? It exists in the Jewish community. And so. I don't think that it's the same for all Jews of colored. Not even the same for all black Jews of color that being said I think that there are some experiences we share and I. think that it is not helpful, and I remember the at one point when I was leading services in my college campus. One of my friends said to me Angela you just look Jewish to me now I, think she. She tried to mean that as a compliment, but for me I was I was a little dumbfounded by what it means to look Jewish especially if you look around at what Jews look like and second of all I understood that comment to mean that she no longer saw me as Asian away, and there was a sense that that was a racing a piece of who I am at the same time so i.