With Jews constituting only 0.2% of the world population, inclusivity ought to be a value of the utmost importance – for ethical and moral reasons, for cultural and spiritual richness, and to ensure our continued existence as a people. And, yet, when it comes to accepting Jews of color into the mainstream of Jewish life, challenges and obstacles abound.
Earlier this year, the Jewish overnight camp Eden Village garnered a great deal of attention for its “no body talk” policy, which camp leaders described as providing a “break from mentioning physical appearance, including clothing.”
Dealing with the complexity of race means acknowledging difficult realities, and Jewish tradition teaches us to lean into rather than shy away from complexity. Sitting with challenges, examining our biases and asking questions are the essence of the Jewish New Year.