While some Ashkenazi Jews may appear white and identify as such, the concept of whiteness is complex.
Historically, Jews were considered a separate and inferior race and yet, over time, antisemitism, assimilation efforts and rising socioeconomic status have influenced the perception of “Jewish whiteness.”
However, this categorization overlooks the experiences of Jews of Color and non-Ashkenazim and further perpetuates the ongoing antisemitism Jews face today.
00:33 Global Jewish communities
00:44 Do Ashkenazi Jews identify as white?
01:03 What does it mean to be white?
01:25 Origin of whiteness
02:06 Definitions of whiteness
02:56 European Jews were not white
03:14 Racial discrimination against Jews in America
04:46 Antisemitism and Jewish racial ambiguity
05:33 Failed attempts by Jews to be accepted as white
06:27 Jewish-black interracial tensions
06:50 GI Bill benefits and white collar jobs
07:09 American Jews achieve “whiteness”
07:20 Jews (and non-Jews) reject Jewish white identity
07:58 Jews don’t fit into a racial box
08:35 Conditional whiteness is oppressive
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Image and footage credits:
Thomas E. Watson
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
— Barry Skolnick
— Shmuel Katz
— Sephardic Community Alliance
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