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Jewish African-Americans


Although the Afro-American community is in the forefront of anti-Jewish hate in the United States, there are some blacks who are Jewish. This may surprise all those familiar with the anti-Jewish rantings of the “civil rights” leader Al Sharpton and his followers, who spew hate of Israel and the Jewish people even as Jews supply this latter day Nazi with money and political support.
There are about 200,000 black Jews in the United States. Almost all live in New York City or Chicago. Some of the blacks have been Jews for generations, others are the products of intermarriages, and others are recent converts but not married to white Jews.
It is of course a major problem for these Jews to raise their children in a community which includes such haters as Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson. Black Jews are therefore victimized in the black community but also meet with incredulity in the majority white Jewish community. Their chances of marriage within the faith are negligible, as both Jews and blacks view such marriages as an anomaly to be avoided. Teachers are of course shocked to find that black children are absent on Jewish holy days. Historians who write about the history of the American Jewish community seldom mention the black Jews, even as German Jews are also omitted.
During the past decade, since 2004, an effort has been made to give black Jews some recognition. This came about with the founding of the National Alliance of Black Jews, which has sponsored a number of “web sites” devoted to black rabbis and to the black Jewish community. Outside of New York and Chicago, the existence of black Jews is hardly known, except for a few “celebrities” such as Aaron Freeman, a Chicago comedian, and the late Sammy Davis, Jr., who was Jewish, which he publicized again and again during his many appearances with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
There are a few black rabbis in New York, including rabbi Shlomo Levy, who is not a convert but the son and grandson of rabbis. He is the rabbi of congregation Beth Elohim, and rabbi Capers Funye is rabbi of congregation Beth Shalom.
Black Jews are faced with a number of obstacles which minorities of all kinds have to deal with here and anywhere. Jewish texts and histories of the Jewish people exhibit only pictures of whites and deal exclusively with the experience of the European Jewish community here and abroad.

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