What can happen when Jews don’t understand privilege and intersectionality?

Here’s what some folks had to say:

– We worship the idols of wealth, power, and comfort instead of the God of Justice and Righteousness. – Rabbi Mike Rothbaum

– We center our own oppression as Jews at the expense of showing up in allyship roles – Jonah Boyarin

– We alienate communities and individuals with whom we may otherwise wish to align/ally. We perpetuate myths of monolithic Jewish whiteness/wealth/privilege. We exclude and invisibilize Jewish difference, Jews of color, Jews in poverty, Jewish radicals, Jewish queers, Jewish survivors and perpetrators of domestic/sexual/etc assault, and Jews with arrests and convictions unrelated to political activities – Elana Baurer

– We erase our history of being an alien and an Other here in the US or we overemphasize our historic experiences with oppression – Elana Baurer

– We miss out on deeper, more meaningful relationships with ourselves, our families, communities, and ancestors. We also perpetuate victimhood by telling the same rigid stories of being slaves/under attack/helpless but for God’s help. Global, cultural, and individual isolation is inevitable when there’s stuck consciousness around the fluidity of identity and stories and what it means to trust “others” and ask for help. –Tamar Toledano

– We fail to see how intersecting privileged identities could have helped many communities of Jews succeed culturally and professionally in this country, and instead credit the success on some innate values and abilities that Judaism provides. –Lauren Statman

– We lose integrity- Yeshi Gusfield

– There’s a willful blindness to see the difference skin color makes for an immigrant population in America. –Simone Kern

– White Jews are much more likely to be targeted and blamed for being racist than white Gentiles, and targeted as being privileged and having money more than Gentiles –Jessica Chen

– There are negative consequences when Jews don’t understand privilege and intersectionality, but we can’t think of negative consequences in a vacuum. We have to center the discussion around those who are most impacted. When as Jews we see ourselves as the ultimate victim, it means we are unable to see that we are perpetuating oppression of other people, as is the case of the military occupation of Palestinian land. For those of us who are Jews and also white, we need to acknowledge our whiteness so that we understand that we share in the responsibility of allowing and engaging in the white supremacist systems that result in the murders of Black people like Oscar Grant, which puts disproportionate numbers of Black people behind bars and deports migrant people. Also, the struggle shouldn’t and can’t be to simply understand privilege and intersectionality. –anonymous

– We require Palestinians to reassure us that they’ll take the first steps towards peace without acknowledging that we hold the majority of the power in our military occupation of their land. –Andrew Gordon-Kirsch

– What do you think?

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