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>it was said in 1988-- > >"While generational change and increased education have led to lower >antisemitism among whites, among blacks, age and antisemitism are not >highly related and the effects of education are significantly less >powerful among blacks than among whites . . .. As a result of the weak >correlations among blacks between age and antisemitism, and education and >antisemitism, increased education and generational change have not led to >lower levels of antisemitism." I've had many conversations about this with black Jews (a growing group of converts to Judaism happen to be black, and there are now 15 black rabbis that I know of in the USA, coming from Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Hebrew Israelite or "Commandment Keeper" backgrounds). According to what they told me, nearly all of them learned anti-Semitism from their churches, where the belief that the Jews rejected and killed Jesus is still taught. They also learned the cultural myths which blamed "the Jews" for being greedy, predatory, and deceitful, especially in communities where some of the owners of businesses were white and Jewish. Again, I am not saying these beliefs are true-- there is NO evidence that white Jewish shop-keepers were any more likely to cheat or deceive black consumers than Korean or Irish or even upper class black shop-keepers. But my point is that the perception of the Jew as someone who loves money and would even sell out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver is still treated as a theological fact in many black churches, and is still being taught to young black children. I'd like to make another point that may also be related to this conversation. Based on what I've seen (I have several friends who are black and Jewish) as well as on anecdotal reports I've read, organised Judaism doesn't help itself by being unwelcoming or suspicious of potential converts who are black. Alas, the "face" or organised Judaism still tends to be white and European. There isn't a lot of outreach to communities of colour, and many misunderstandings are allowed to intensify as a result. I was working on an article about Jews of colour a year ago, and was surprised that none of the major rabbinic seminaries even offer a course on Jewish diversity. The assumption that the "typical" Jew is white persists. As a result, I have seen my black Jewish friends (one of whom was born Jewish, the other of whom converted) stared at when they go to shul, and I've seen them have their Jewishness questioned. I don't know when the folks who write the children's books or teach the courses will start including non-white Jews, but believe me, it needs to be done. Demographers like Gary Tobin and others can prove that non-white Jews are a growing segment of Judaism, even if they remain a far smaller group than the Ashkenazi majority. Tobin, who was quoted in the previous post, has done yeomanlike work in establishing (along with his wife Diane) "Bechol Lashon", a newsletter about Jews of colour; the two of them have also established a San Francisco-based think tank that addresses the changing face of Judaism. Bottom line-- when my friend Rabbi Capers (Shmuel) Funnyé, the first black Jew to be appointed to the Chicago Board of Rabbis, speaks to black groups, he hears many of these same misconceptions about what "the Jews" are really like, and he works hard to refute these myths. There needs to be more dialogue between Ashkenazim and communities of colour, and not just black rabbis should be doing this work. Also, in spite of all the misconceptions and myths, there really are African-Americans who feel called to investigate Judaism and who even want to convert. We ought to welcome them. But so far, it seems we still don't. Donna Halper Emerson College Boston MA -- Yocheved Menashe List Editor, H-Antisemitism