Aviva Cohen
Darrell Friedman Institute

Let’s Make Jewish Spaces More Welcoming for Black Kids Like Mine

 In Personal Perspectives

By Nina Essel for Kveller

Before we even discussed marriage, my husband and I spent a significant amount of time talking about how we would meld our two worlds together. I grew up in a Conservative synagogue in upstate New York in a predominantly white town. He grew up attending an Anglican church in Ghana. As the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, raising my children Jewish was profoundly important to me. He was equally committed to ensuring his children were firmly rooted in Ghanaian culture.

We immersed ourselves in each others’ histories and heritages. We engaged in Jewish learning, celebrated Jewish holidays, and attended services together. We traveled to Israel and Ghana. I learned how to cook traditional Ghanaian foods and even learned a few phrases in his languages, Twi and Ga.

While we were able to share in these experiences as adults with fully formed identities, we remained unsure of how we would effectively raise our children so that they felt equally connected to their Black and Jewish roots. Full Article

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