The Interracial Jewish Children
IT IS WIDELY RECOGNIZED that the integration of the Negro into the social fabric of
America is the number one problem of the country. If the American credo
that all men are created equal should be made to read that all men are cre-
ated equal except Negroes, the idea of liberty and human dignity upon which
America was founded would be undermined, and the continued existence of
free institutions would be cast in doubt.
These truths are well understood in the Jewish community, but what is
not clearly understood is that the continuation of a meaningful Jewish life
in America would be in jeopardy if the American Jew were unable to face
the American Negro as a complete equal in every aspect of human rela-
tionships. Jews would not only be less than candid as men and citizens; they
would also violate basic precepts of Judaism, if they were to protest against
inequities based on criteria of race and color in public life while in their pri-
vate lives they dealt unequally and insensitively with the very same people
whose cause they espouse so feelingly in the market place. The case is fur-
ther aggravated if the persons discriminated against are not only colored, but
also of the Jewish faith. This makes the problem of interracial Jewish chil-
dren and of the attitude of the Jewish community regarding these children
crucially important. It confronts Jewish liberals with a test of their earnest-
ness as liberals, and all Jews with a test of their earnestness as Jews.
What do we mean by interracial Jewish children? What is the magnitude
and the nature of the problem posed by these children? What has been done
in the past and what should be done now to take care of these children?
These are the questions to which I propose to address myself.