Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color

August 18th, 2021

This research presents an intersectional account of American Jewish life by exploring the ways in which the ethnic, racial, and cultural identities of Jews of Color (JoC) influence and infuse their Jewish experiences. Beyond the Count was commissioned to inform the work of the Jews of Color Initiative (JoCI), a national effort focused on building and advancing the professional, organizational, and communal field for JoC. This study provides valuable insights to help Jewish communities and organizations reckon more directly and effectively with the racial diversity of American Jewry.

In this research, “Jews of Color” is understood as an imperfect, but useful umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of identities and meanings. Those who self-identified as JoC in this study used the term in a multiplicity of ways: as a racial grouping (e.g. Black, Asian, and multiracial Jews); to indicate national heritage (e.g. Egyptian, Iranian, and Ethiopian Jews); to describe regional and geographic connections (e.g. Latina/o/x, Mizrahi, Sephardic Jews); and to specify sub-categories (e.g. transracially adopted Jews and Jewish Women of Color).

This study, which was housed at Stanford University, collected the largest ever dataset of self-identified JoC to date. Survey data from 1,118 respondents present a broad portrait of respondents’ demographic characteristics, backgrounds, and experiences. Sixty-one in-depth interviews provide texture and bring respondents’ own words to the forefront.

Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color,” commissioned by the Jews of Color Initiative, Tobin Belzer, PhD, Tory Brundage, PhC, Vincent Calvetti, MA, Gage Gorsky, PhD, Ari Y. Kelman, PhD, Dalya Perez, PhD, August 2021

Read more insights about Beyond the Count.