The Jews of Color Initiative (JOCI) recently released the findings of its latest research study—Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color. The study was conducted by a multiracial research team housed at Stanford University. More than 1,100 Jews of Color completed the survey, and 61 were randomly selected for an in-depth qualitative interview.
While previous research has focused on identifying the number of Jews of Color in the United States, as well as related demographics, this study aimed to uncover the varied backgrounds, experiences, attitudes, and hopes of the Jews of Color community.
Here are some key findings from the research:
- A significant majority of respondents (66 percent) identify as “biracial, mixed, multiracial” or some combination of these identities.
- Most survey respondents (64 percent) have at least one Jewish parent: 42 percent have one and 22 percent have two.
- More than one-third of respondents (40 percent) indicated they converted or were converted to Judaism.
- 80 percent of survey respondents agreed they have experienced discrimination in Jewish settings, and more than half of respondents reported experiencing discrimination in a Jewish spiritual community, congregation, or synagogue.
- Respondents’ expressions of Jewishness are most frequently connected to a sense of justice and connection with the past and the future. For example, 76 percent of respondents share that “Working for justice and equality (Tikkun Olam)” is a “very important” expression of their Jewish identity.
- 46 percent of respondents said talking about the experience of being a Jew of Color with other Jews of Color is very important to them, while 36 percent of respondents said they have no close friends who are Jews of Color.
The full report can be found here.