Jews of Colour – we define as anyone who is or identifies as: black, Asian, mixed racial heritage, southeast Asian, Sephardic, Mizrahi, Yemenite and other combinations.
Our focus is to publish work from Canadian Jews of Colour and other Canadian Jewish writers, or pieces that have a distinct connection to Canada, Jewish Canadian culture, and Jews of Colour in Canada.
Excerpt By: Aliza Hausman (Los Angeles, USA)
“According to some people being Jewish now means that I’m no longer Hispanic (I’ve gotten this one from Jews and non-Jewish Latinos alike) and according to some people being Hispanic means I can never really be Jewish (I’ve gotten this one mostly from Jews).
Some people surveying my situation have noted that as a Jewminicana, I fit innowhere because I make both the Jews and Dominicans–and even some of the Dominican Jews–of the world uncomfortable (not to mention everyone else).
A marked increase in Jewish immigration from India to Canada began in the early 1960’s. Most families settled in Toronto; some settled in Hamilton, Montreal and a few in other parts of Canada. Many of these families, who had settled in Toronto, did not attend High Holiday services at the local synagogues because of high fees. In 1970, a couple of families managed to arrange affordable High Holiday services for the Bene Israel community. For some families it was the first High Holiday services they attended since leaving India. As more Bene Israel immigrants from India settled in Toronto, they felt the need to get together socially, to be supportive of each other and provide opportunities for their children to get to know each other. In 1978, several families made a concerted effort to organize a social event. Letters were sent out and a potluck social was held in a local public school in Scarborough in November 1978. It was a great success! The organizing group was encouraged by the response and the participants expressed a need to get together as a community and have some fun. After a few successful functions, such as a Purim social in 1979 and a picnic in July 1979, some families expressed the desire to organize High Holiday services according to Bene Israel tradition. Continue reading
From the organization Kaleidoscope Jews
KALEIDOSCOPE: Boldly Diverse – Distinctly Jewish
Tyler Samuels (Toronto, Canada)
How not to anger a JOC
I`ve realized that most Jews who are white have a hard time dealing with Jews who are black or any other colour. Heck Jews who are darkly tanned are confronted with bigotry at shuls or other public places where they expect to be treated accordingly as a fellow Jew and not as some sort of racial pariah stalking out to steal a wallet as everyone is singing Aleniu. Nor are we here to attack you with our black on black crime that apparently you know so well. We are Jews who bleed and weep when terrorist attacks occurs to when swastikas are spray painted on the synagogue door. However this cannot penetrate the skulls of a lot of Jews who can pass as white and I`ll list them out for you, Continue reading
JOC Canada at Limmud Toronto 2016.
We thank the organizers for the opportunity to speak about our experiences as Jewish people of colour.
Jews of Colour Canada’s first gathering last August 2015. We met for lunch at King David Laffa & Grill, in Thornhill, ON.