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Sunday, 20 Tammuz, 5780
  |  July 12, 2020

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My Daughter is Jewish and Black. Black and Jewish

Esther Berman of Baltimore, Maryland, writes: “My child is Jewish. And Black. Black and Jewish. She is an island. A three-year-old, she’s constantly reminding people that she is a person.” Full Story

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Best family
Guest
Best family

We love you!!!

my professional take
Guest
my professional take

There are numerous issues with the arguments that you present and I will do my best to defend the righteous Orthodox Jewish community. 1) You open your arguments with the question of why do you feel a disconnect from the community. You then say that your daughter’s skin color makes you feel disconnected. I don’t doubt that you are telling the truth about why you feel disconnected, however, just because you feel disconnected, that doesn’t mean that others feel disconnected from you. In fact, you don’t show any evidence that you’ve been alienated. Furthermore, I find it highly unlikely that… Read more »

Two Issues - Skin Color and the African Americans
Guest
Two Issues - Skin Color and the African Americans

There are two separate issues here. 1) People viewing your daughter as different because of her skin color. The fact is, there is a very small amount of black Jews and children being intrigued by it is only natural, just like they would be intrigued by someone in a wheelchair. This is an opportunity for you to educate and explain how we are all unique and that’s what makes us special, and that what is most important is what is on the inside. As a community, we need to normalize differences by having pictures of black children, heavy children, and… Read more »

Educate yourself
Guest
Educate yourself

It is not this mother or child’s job to educate others. They are humans, not tools for other people to “learn.” Do the work for yourself, and leave people who literally have to teach every new person they come into contact with to live their own lives.

Here's why this is the most ridiculous comment eve
Guest
Here's why this is the most ridiculous comment eve

1. She doesn’t need evidence of feeling disconnected
2. Maybe don’t say anything about the person’s race? They’re just a person, a human being.
3. Black cops can be racist too, and this is a bigger issue than one man’s murder.
4. Did you miss the part about people saying her hair felt like sheep?

All wrong
Guest
All wrong

1. She doesn’t need to FEEL disconnected (because that’s just the way she feels), but she definitely needs evidence of actually BEING disconnected 2. Literally the whole point was that if you DO say the race, you’d say “shvartze”, the Yiddish translation of “black”, just like people with light skin are called “white” 3. Of course you’re right, but what in the world does that have to do with rioting? And like he said, you don’t even know for sure if it IS a bigger issue 4. Did you miss the part where literally everyone plays with kids’ hair? And… Read more »

eyerolling
Guest
eyerolling

Shvartzeh has always had a negative connotation. Not only that, why would someone make an uneducated comment like that? Comparing any part of a person to an animal is very VERY disrespectful. All people are on a higher level than animals that should be very obvious to a person who has even skimmed the Chumash.

Dear author
Guest
Dear author

Dear author, I hope you will be relieved to know that 99% (if not 100%) of us fellow Chabad do not see you in the light that you see yourself. I hope it relieves you to know that you are merely translating reality and perceiving racist alienation etc. in your own perception and your own translation of reality. We love you and we love your daughter so much! And we always did. 1) Is it true you feel alienated? Yes, you said so. 2) Is it true anyone is alienating you? Possibly, people alienate me too and I’m white with… Read more »

Racist drivel from MS and a Chillul Hashem
Guest
Racist drivel from MS and a Chillul Hashem

“We always had to be careful of the Jews, because so many of them are slum lords, perverts, or crooks. I’m not saying all Jews are perverts or thieves, but so many of them are that you have to be careful around them. As well as Anti Semitic tropes about rapists, landlords, bankers, etc. Obviously, some Jews are perfectly nice, but you can’t tell which ones are degenerates and which ones aren’t just by looking at them. Also even if they’re nice, they refuse to assimilate and have so many kids and refuse to be normal, so why would you… Read more »

To my professional take
Guest
To my professional take

U could not have said it better ! I completely agree!

I can't believe you just excused a racist term
Guest
I can't believe you just excused a racist term

Without even giving the slightest value to your other comments, the fact that you excuse a COMPLETELY RACIST TERM is mind-boggling today. Are you 90?! This is one thing I’ve watched about FFB Lubavitchers over and over thru the years: the young ones are socialized to both racist thought and racist LANGUAGE. You have NO IDEA the horrible impression you make at your Shabbos tables, telling racist jokes and using racist language. Those of us who were raised in the real world sit there in silent shock, looking around the table or being too embarrassed on your behalf to make… Read more »

Shvartze is not a racist term
Guest
Shvartze is not a racist term

To be more correct, “Shvartze” to some people is just a regular clean word and to others (particularly those who did not grow up with the word) it’s a bad word.

But to unequivocally say it’s a completely racist term is simply not the case. You can only talk for yourself, but we are humans too and we use words too, and we have to right to tell you what WE mean when WE use a word. This is a normal clean word to us, as clean as african american

You might not intend it to be, but it is
Guest
You might not intend it to be, but it is

Hearing how black jews and parents of black jewish children feel about the word should be enough to have us all stop using it. I have made this argument before “it just means black, it’s not racist”. But seeing and hearing how people feel when I use that word, has been eye opening and I try to be sensitive to that and have stopped using that word.

Hypocrite
Guest
Hypocrite

The problem with racism is that u judge an individual because of the behavior of a particular demographic they fall into.
You incorporated that flaw when you generalized the behaviors of FFBs.
You must be a racist

You seem to be part of the problem
Guest
You seem to be part of the problem

Attention Professional take: If you wish her success AND you’re sorry for her turmoil, why are you forcing her into the defensive instead of accepting her reality? It seems you do not wish her anything but continued headaches and more turmoil. Not very professional.

That's nice...
Guest
That's nice...

but when an article like this is put up on a platform like this, you can’t ban argument. That defeats the entire purpose – to start a meaningful conversation.
And besides, he wasn’t calling HER as a person out. but the ideas presented

nope
Guest
nope

This whole conservative thing “that we are allowed to say bad things if it’s in a ‘discussion'” has to stop. it’s absurd

typical CH response
Guest
typical CH response

How dare you pin this down as inner turmoil.

Look in the mirror

George Floyd wasn't killed because of racism?!
Guest
George Floyd wasn't killed because of racism?!

Have you seen the video?! Don’t say stupid comments without first looking up the facts. He was handcuffed and screaming for help…

Stop and think!
Guest
Stop and think!

To Professional Take: Keep politics and trying to defend the community out of this- all that does is make you unable to actually LISTEN to what the author is saying. You are just finding every excuse to shut her down and justify yourself for not giving the author any respect or empathy. This is a Jewish mother crying out about wanting herself and her daughter to be treated with ahavas yisroel, repect and empathy. It does seems that the type of racism she is talking about is a bit subconcious and unintentional, but if she is saying x.y,z makes her… Read more »

What does that mean "Jewish and black"?
Guest
What does that mean "Jewish and black"?

Do you call me “Jewish and freckly” or “Jewish and white”?
No.
One’s an external quality, and one’s an identity.
(A Jew isn’t a Goy plus 613 mitzvos – The Rosh)

Kids are intrigued
Guest
Kids are intrigued

When my daughter was 8 years old, I had to take care of something in Israel. We stayed in Tel Aviv for over a month, and while I was busy running around taking care of my problem, my daughter went to school in Tel Aviv. That most of her classmates were Yemenite kids. My daughter was very upset when they kept touching her hair. She is blond blue eyes, and they kept staring at her. I explained to her that they are curious because she looks different. Same with your beautiful daughter. Kids are curious. They don’t have a bad… Read more »

Wow
Guest
Wow

Very meaning full thank you for sharing. I think everyone should be treated as human, no matter what color their skin is or where they grew up. Hashem created us and we should treat every person as such, and not act as is if they are different, when in reality hashem created them this way.

So true...
Guest
So true...

so don’t kill Jews because they’re Jewish, that’s equally as bad as killing a black person because they’re black. No one rioted after the Monsey stabbing on Chanukah. No one rioted after Lori Kaye was murdered last Pesach. No one rioted after the Tree of Life shooting. After the Halle, Germany synagogue shooting last year on Yom Kippur. On the contrary, after each of those incidents, Shuls the world over had to heighten security, fearing for the safety of their congregants. It’s hard, it’s evil, it’s unwanted, but we take it. We unite. We support each other. We don’t riot… Read more »

atrocious
Guest
atrocious

excuse me mr wise guy, the black community has been experiencing so much racism and killing at the hand of the police, who are you to tell them how to fell.

Shocked
Guest
Shocked

What about all the anti-semetic attacks? The fact that the black community feels they are unfairly being killed by police doesn’t justify their looting. By the way, may I remind you that Jews have been persecuted throughout the centuries? Where are the riots and looting we did because we were “so upset”?

beautifully written
Guest
beautifully written

thank you

Be the change
Guest
Be the change

I’m so over everyone using this as a platform for Jewish lives! Of course our lives matter, but we don’t face the same struggles. In addition, to every comment asking “Why wasn’t there a riot Chanukah time?” The answer is super simple! Nobody got up to orchestrate a protest. Things don’t just happen on their own! Cut the ignorance & selfishness.

Wait a minute...
Guest
Wait a minute...

I didn’t say rioting is bad BECAUSE we don’t riot (if so, what you said would be relevant), but that we don’t riot BECAUSE rioting is bad. That’s a massive difference.

So don’t call us ignorant and selfish. The rioters are the ULTIMATE example of ignorance and selfishness. They’re endangering the safety of innocent men, women, and children. Facts.

Amazingly written
Guest
Amazingly written

Amazing

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

So beautiful. Thank you for opening your heart – the heart of a mother. Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter and the truth that she stands for with us.

YEEES!
Guest
YEEES!

“שחורה אני ונאוה” “I’m black and beautiful”
That’s literally a Possuk in Shir HaShirim – look it up

Thank you Esther!
Guest
Thank you Esther!

May your adorable princess continue to bring you much nachas!

You have a beautiful family
Guest
You have a beautiful family

So sorry to hear any negativity you have felt. You have a beautiful family and should stand tall. Its unfortunate your neighbors are so closed minded but i do hope and think this will change.
Wishing you much nachas from both of your our children.

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Very well written.

Violence is not a cure for racism
Guest
Violence is not a cure for racism

Jews have been persecuted for centuries but gone react with violence. Please don’t excuse the rioters. I’m sorry your child isnot being accepted but don’t excuse terrible behaviours. 2 wrongs don’t make a right

Your comment shows why this article is necessary.
Guest
Your comment shows why this article is necessary.

How does this have anything to do with how we treat another Yid? This sweet neshoma has nothing to do with the rioters.
We need to challenge the perception we as a community have of people who look different than we do. Firstly, it has an impact on how fellow Yidden are treated,as some people cannot look past how people look.
Secondly, we need to respect all humans, Hashem created everyone. Maybe if the community as a whole stopped using racial slurs on a daily basis and treated other humans with respect, the treatment would be reciprocated.
Just a thought.

...
Guest
...

She wasnt in any way excusing violence.

Power to you Esther
Guest
Power to you Esther

I recently implemented a policy in my home against the use of the S-word. Keep on speaking up. With enough exhortation we could remove the racism that plagues our community.

-A gezhe FFB

just some thoughts
Guest
just some thoughts

if you really want to solve this issue of African American inequality then why don’t you call up your congresswoman/congressmen and ask them to stop welfare, the time has come for us to end the racist policys that keeps the African American community at a disadvantage.

OyOyOy
Guest
OyOyOy

Sorry my friend, frum yids are major recipients of government hand outs. The men are under employed by choice, families are large and the food stamps, earned income credits etc etc are abundant. Have hear far too many frum yids justify taking hand outs, cheating in taxes, and defaulting on loans by saying that the goyim do it, so why not? Our community is a mess.

Ignorant opinion
Guest
Ignorant opinion

Your opinion is based on ignorance. Welfare started for white America first. FACT. Research the fact that the Black community is purposely held back through systemic racist policies, purposely targetted by police on trumped up charges to fill our privatised prisons full of modern day slaves, who are forced to work for pennies on the dollar for our American companies. Blacks in America on average earn $0.70 on the dollar compared to whites with equivalent education and experience, and that is if they are fortunate to be hired cuz alot of times they are overlooked. I can go on and… Read more »

????????
Guest
????????

AFIRMITIV ACTION? (there not over looked the city of Baltimore is the most funded school district in the country and yet the most crime ridden).
Fact, if Baltimore were a country it would have the 6th highest murder per capita!

Did you mean Affirmative Action?
Guest
Did you mean Affirmative Action?

You do realize that the point of Affirmative Action was to act as a form of reparations for the enslavement of African Americans and Jim Crow laws, yet the people who benefit from it most are white women. Look at the numbers and you will find that the African Americans are not getting a ton of handouts. Regarding Baltimore, there is a huge redlining problem and major corruption in the mayor’s office and police department; funding may go in, but kids are still having to wear coats in the classrooms because they have no heat and schools are understaffed. Also… Read more »

its is me again
Guest
its is me again

let me explain to you what I meant when I said that we should end welfare, so according to the journal of research on adolescence that children in a fatherless home are more likely to end up in jail, and in 2015 73% of African American births were out of wedlock ones, so you ask why it is like that? the welfare system helps a woman that is single which in turn removes the moral and traditional of fathers providing for their children. I hope that this will enlighten you to the racism that the democratic party has perpetrated on… Read more »

Please Google the Stats...
Guest
Please Google the Stats...

Did you know that a college educated black man earns less money than a white man that didn’t even graduate high school. The entire system is biased. Not only that, but you might be missing the entire point of this article. The author spoke out against her daughter being mistreated. If we are to be a light unto other nations, we really need to look at how we interact with people. If we are the chosen, let’s choose to do better.

so
Guest
so

so it’s me again, these are the numbers, according to the u.s. bureau of labor statistics the average African American with a bachelors degree makes 900$ a week and the average white American without a high school degree makes 460$ a week, and to your second point, I replied to a person that said how they are combating racism and offered a more effective solution.

Inspired!
Guest
Inspired!

What a beautiful policy!

Good for you!
Guest
Good for you!

We should all eliminate racist, sexist language from our speech. Torah doesn’t speak like this and neither should we.

i am offended
Guest
i am offended

i speak yiddish and i say schwartz it means black in yiddish if you forbid this word in your home then maybe you forbid the word goy as well…. those are our language and the words we use. You are the racist one in preventing people like me to speak in yiddish and telling your kids yiddish words are bad.

Agree
Guest
Agree

I also use this word innocently. Stop translating everything as racist so fast

to offended yiddish speaker
Guest
to offended yiddish speaker

to be fair, goy is hebrew so try a different example…

I'm sorry you feel being let down or put down
Guest
I'm sorry you feel being let down or put down

There is also division between FFB and BT. We BT are viewed and referred to as second class citizens. Only the FFB are 100% “kosher” where the truth is they’re far from it. Main thing is keep your faith and belief, you know your fighting for Hashem and his Torah-part of tzivos hashem!hold your head high and keep doing what hashem wants you to fulfill your mission in this world – that he sent you for, that only YOU can do!

Bt child
Guest
Bt child

As a child of BT parents I know it can seem that way, but the kind of people who think like that are not the people you want to spend time with, they are our fellow Jews but they need to work on that as we all have things to work on. I must say there are a good amount of FFB families who love and accept BTs, I think it has more to do with people who have healthy relationships in general over anything else one may think it has to do with. Stick with the healthy people who… Read more »

BT are respected
Guest
BT are respected

I don’t believe this is so- everyone knows BT have the real fire and love for Yiddishkeit, the knowledge that Torah is truth, not just the belief- since they chose dark over light. I personally come from 9th generation lubavitch, and I can tell you- the baalei teshuva of our generation have brought so much good and Emeskeit to Chabad!
Not only are you NOT second class citizens, you are higher than us, you chose it and fought for it!

i second that
Guest
i second that

I love BT and would never put them down. everyone i know is the same. it’s unfortunate that you had to experience that kind of discrimination but again, i feel that a majority of chabad accepts BT

Daughter of BT
Guest
Daughter of BT

As the daughter of a BT I disagree, my mother was never fully included, one summer upstate a FFB woman asked my mother if she feels out of place being a BT amongst all the FFB’s, when is came to Shidduchim and a name was mentioned to my mother, my mother spoke to a Shadchan who said, “that family wouldn’t go for a Baal Teshuva family” this is the way it is and I accept it and learnt from him how to treat people with respect!!

Bt and shidduchim
Guest
Bt and shidduchim

I think it has more to do with culture than anything, it is hard for FFB to accept BT for marriage sometimes because they have a hard time understanding or combining cultures. I don’t think it’s a personal thing, some FFBs can do it some can’t. I think the opposite can be true as well, not all BTs would feel comfortable in a FFB family, I am a daughter of BTs married into a FFB family and I see the benefits and uniqueness in each.

True
Guest
True

It’s not because they have the title “Baal Teshuva”, it’s because compatibility is of utmost importance in a Shidduch, so and FFB can narrow down families that are more similar to theirs with many different “filters”. It doesn’t mean lower higher, it means their the child is more compatible with someone who shares the same exact upbringing.

Another BT
Guest
Another BT

Sorry, whenever I hear the “your higher than us,” line I just roll my eyes. In practice, no one actually believes that.The reality is that “BTs” are at the bottom of the feudal hierarchy. We aren’t fully accepted and integrated in movement that (ironically) prides itself on inclusion.

Baal t
Guest
Baal t

At some point the BTs will outnumber the FFBs, whenever I hear this I recommend people to find a community that truly accepts Baal teshuvas. Find friends and community leaders who accept you, feel bad for people who put others down, and don’t assume you can read other people’s thoughts.

Another FFB
Guest
Another FFB

Sorry, that is plain not true.
You are convincing yourself into a narrative that does not exist. Most most Chabad FFBs respect BTs as regular or higher, yes.
Why is it so hard for you to accept that?
Why is it easy for you to accept an FFB who gives you the message “you’re lower” and at the same time you can’t accept a message coming from an FFB saying “you’re higher”. Clearly the issue is internal.

Just accept it, we regard you as normal. If not higher.

It’s true.

Will you let your child marry a BT?
Guest
Will you let your child marry a BT?

Not a child of BT’s, who are themselves looked down on even though they grew up 100% in the system. Put your money where your mouth is. Let your child marry a BT. I’ll wait…

Opinion
Guest
Opinion

Your comment gives the impression that you believe BT are better then FFB… I don’t believe this to be true at all. Each have a quality that should Not be overlooked.

Mike
Guest
Mike

They are better the Rebbe said that. try tasting something that you love and then having to live life giving it up… The sacrifices are greater

Replying from the original commenter
Guest
Replying from the original commenter

My belief is based on the reciprocation responses from FFB. There is no need to put someone else down, if you know you are right in midos etc… meaning if i am a positive person etc… i wouldn’t have the mind set to put someone else down.

It's not black and white
Guest
It's not black and white

True they each have qualities, and therefore it is not wrong to emphasize how BTs are better, it’s true in many aspects. And in another occasion, one can point out the advantages of being Noilad Btahara, and other FFB advantages, and that’s also true.

your personal feeling
Guest
your personal feeling

You are putting your personal feelings on a whole group of amazing people. BTs like anyone else in the world including Black people, there are good bad and everything in between. I know many BTs that I consider more first class than FFBs.
To comment on this story, there must be some real issues in her community. My daughter has the same color skin as her daughter and there has been once in her whole life that another frum kid said anything.
Please remember that your personal stories are just that, personal. Don’t put it on EVERYONE.

Replying once again
Guest
Replying once again

“My personal stories?” I wouldn’t have a “story ” to tell if FFBs would be and should be doing the right things.

Please share
Guest
Please share

What is your story?
(Please omit all assumptions and explanations of the events, and just share the hard facts of your story. I’d love to hear)

Not true anymore (or ever)
Guest
Not true anymore (or ever)

This is an old narrative. 95% of FFBs have regular, if not higher, regard of BTs. It’s time to update your view of our view. People are still puppeting this “FFBs consider BTs lower class” but it’s simply not true 95% (or 100%) of the time. Signed, An FFB PS the only differentiation I’m aware of that stands in FFB families is if the BT family has a lower standard that the BFF family and can have a negative influence, meaning, the FFB parent won’t let their children play at the BT house because that house house movies let’s say.… Read more »

Racist?
Guest
Racist?

Thank you for sharing your feelings! ONE man was killed by police. ELEVEN people were killed by rioters. That’s why there is more outrage about the riots than about the murder of the one man. It is that simple. The murder of the black man was wrong!! It does NOT justify plundering, killing others, causing innocent people damage and more loss of life. When a man is killed by a police officer, and he happens to be Jewish, do we riot and plunder and burn down other people’s properties? No, we don’t. A few years ago, in a terrible incident,… Read more »

although i agree with most of what you wrote
Guest
although i agree with most of what you wrote

you are 100% wrong about what the word shvartzeh is specifically used to mean. It is used for ANY colored person, not just barbaric stupid rioters. I am from crown heights and Iv’e grown up with being told to “give the shvartze a cup a water” about our cleaning woman. so while it’s true that some blacks are misbehaving and therefore it only makes sense that we don’t appreciate it, it doesn’t hurt us to try and be a little less racists. It only makes us better people. There’s nothing wrong with smiling at your black neighbor or waving hello… Read more »

Shvartzhe is used like the n word
Guest
Shvartzhe is used like the n word

Even if you mean it to describe people who are violent, it is a racial slur. It implies— they act that way because they are black. Not ok. We would not like if people called a Jew who did something wrong an anti Semitic slur.

You are misteken.....
Guest
You are misteken.....

First of all I would just like to thank the author and say how Fortunate you are to have such a beautiful daughter…we wish we had you fortune in this yet no ayin hara. We would in a second love to have the fortune to adopt any healthy child. Please be careful how you react and project your own feelings on what you wrote, children absorb this. The word Schvatze means a person of color, my zeide was called Schvatze most of his life and yes he was very dark and yes he was from Belarus litterally steps a way… Read more »

Where do you live?
Guest
Where do you live?

Shvartze is NOT used like the N word.
“Shvartze” is just our word for “African American”.

like someone else here said well: Those who are racist, have the same racist meaning when they use the words “black” or “african american”. Those who aren’t racist (most of us, or all of us) don’t have racist meaning when we use the word Shvartze.

Maybe
Guest
Maybe

It might be better to say, give the cleaning lady, or the man, or “name” a cup of water, it would sound weird if someone said “give the Jew a cup of water” Maybe “Shvartze” was used in the Yiddish world to describe someone, but maybe it can be looked at as kind of a nickname and in general people don’t want to be given nicknames by others, even when they are little kids.

Shvartze
Guest
Shvartze

Clearly people have different meanings for what this word means. For me in CH it never meant derogatory, it was the normal way to refer to the African Americans, as much as “Chinese” meant “Someone from China”. It is also true, that the perception we had and have of our black community is very badly painted by the many many many times black people in our community have harmed us, myself included several times. But our perception of our black neighbors has nothing to do with whether we use the word Shvartze, Tunkele, Black, or African American. We mean the… Read more »

Stop The Binary Thinking
Guest
Stop The Binary Thinking

What makes you think the Rioters, Looters, and Protesters are one big group that likes each other?
Has it not crossed your mind that they can be separate groups that want different things?
AntiFa is there instigating and is hated and should be arrested, the pathetic looters should also be arrested and removed, stop lumping them all together with your binary thinking!

It’s been going on for ages!!
Guest
It’s been going on for ages!!

It’s not only about this one person that was killed! This has been going on for years! The treatment black people get is so obviously different and wrong!
And to say that they are MAKING themselves victims??? They’ve been persecuted for years too, treated differently, not even treated as humans! Don’t you have the least bit of humanity and goodness in you to see each person as such and to respect them as much as you respect any other person?

You're spending too much time on Social Media
Guest
You're spending too much time on Social Media

You are buying into the false narrative. Please provide the data that blacks in the United States are treated differently? Yes, you will find a story here and a story there, but NOTHING compared to the narrative that people (including you) are making it sound. Tell me someone you know who has “been persocuted for years and not treated as humans”? I know many blacks, and yet I have NEVER met a single one who I can fit that description too. Yet the narrative makes it sound like all blacks have a knee on their neck. Oh, Come on! No… Read more »

stop being racist
Guest
stop being racist

these protests aren’t about that one incident its about police brutality and black inequality in general. if jews would be going through what black people go through I don’t think you would just sit back and not do anything.

Yes and no
Guest
Yes and no

Guess what? We Jews are immune to way more years of persecution then them… and when something qs such happens to a jew, do we go and riot stores etc.? But yes I 100% agree that black lives matter!! They were persecuted etc and deserve respect! And yes we should not clump them all together!

Stop being antisemitic
Guest
Stop being antisemitic

America is as a population non-racist for over 70 years now. Jews on the other hand are STILL persecuted in 2019 2020. Just in the past year we have stabbings, shootings, strangling, bricks, sticks, beating. All un-instigated and purely just because we are Jewish. Racism is a LOT more dead than antisemitism. (Though the media and much of society keep spreading the message that America is still racist. Wake up. There’s no “Knee on the neck of every black person”. Every black person can do whatever he wants these days. Stop living in the past. Racism is almost dead, antisemitism… Read more »

Brings tears...
Guest
Brings tears...

Beautiful!

this was extremely moving
Guest
this was extremely moving

thank you for sharing your story. our community needs your voice.

Baltimorean Friend
Guest
Baltimorean Friend

How brave of you to share your ballad of a mother like any other with hopes and dreams in all things good. You are very inspirational with a giant heart. Continue to use your love to help us see the world around us and our deeds clearer. Sharing helps us care more and break through barriers. She is most lovable with your love for her.

Y G
Guest
Y G

You’re right – racism in the frum community should be cleaned up.
Usually it’s not deliberate, regardless we should view all people with respect as we expect from them.

Excuse me
Guest
Excuse me

You are implying that there is racism in the Jewish community.
I beg to disagree.

(If you know an individual or a few who are racist, that’s not “racism in the Jewish community that needs to be cleaned”.)

I’d go as far as saying that the percentage of black people that are racist are far greater than the percentage of Jewish people that are racist. (Stam, why did everyone forget that blacks can be racist too. As if every black is automatically not racist.)

Do Some Research
Guest
Do Some Research

Besides for the overt and blatant racism that is apparent in most of these comments, even if you choose to blindly ignore them, do some research on what systemic racism is. Polite racism. Institutional racism. Structural racism. Find out how it impacts oppressed minorities. And then come back to comment.

Response to YG from RL
Guest
Response to YG from RL

Rabbi, un-deliberate racism is like saying accidental anti-Semitism. It doesn’t exist. It either is, or it isn’t. Please do not use this opportunity to explain away racism, like many others unconsciously do. As a leader in חינוך, this is the time to open your eyes, ears, heart and mind to what’s really happening. Then let’s address what we’ll do differently. You are one of the kindest and most respected people I have ever met. Please use your platform to make a change in your community.

Since when is shvartze a bad word?
Guest
Since when is shvartze a bad word?

As a community where many pple grew up speaking Yiddish- a shvartze means a black person- period. Perhaps it has a negative connotation because many shvartzes in crown heights were always doing crimes. Your daughter is beautiful- just as beautiful as my daughter who is white and doesn’t realize that people with darker skin are sometimes treated differently. They may grow up scared of some black people if they continue terrorizing them and stealing their bikes. They may also grow up being scared of white people that steal bikes as well. Behave like an upstanding citizen and we will respect… Read more »

Well...
Guest
Well...

Whether YOU use the term “SHVARTZE” in a derogatory fashion or not, it just so happens to be that it has a negative connotation to the average user or listener. And that is a sufficient reason why the term SHOULD NOT BE USED. Yes we live in a world where are bound by social rules. What makes four random letters into a swear word, why can’t I use that word to refer to my slippers? Well if you would be the one to set the world standards, you could’ve. But too late.

FTR
Guest
FTR

Calling pple black has always had a negative connotation.

Suddenly black lives matter is an ok phrase.

Sorry but I will call those with dark skin shvartzes and I will call the small challah we eat at a kiddush a bulkeleh and I will call the yellow stuff I put in my soup mandelach and it will be eaten with lokshin/
If it offends you – I am sorry. Please do some inner work

Old school ,self righteous , not nice
Guest
Old school ,self righteous , not nice

Even the way you equate what you call your food ,to a derogotory term/ name you call a group of people.
Where’s your basic human sympathy?
What a self absorbed ,cold response, to a people who are expressing hurt at this time.

Have a heart.
It is more important to be kind, than to be right.
In this case you’re unkind ,and wrong.
You do the inner work 🙂

"Since when is the N word a bad word?"
Guest
"Since when is the N word a bad word?"

YOU are kidding, right???
Shvartze has a derogatory meaning.
Just like Kike or Jew Boy.
I sure hope your children are getting a better education at school then they are at home.

You could choose to be offended
Guest
You could choose to be offended

Or be open minded in realizing that our community is NOT racist and by our community calling those with darker skin shvartzes is not a racial derogatory reference.
As for my children’s education- boy am I glad that they go to a school that teaches al taharas hakodesh and does not perpetuate this liberal nonsense into them.

Sounds like
Guest
Sounds like

You dont even know what racist means.
I’m ashamed by your ignorance.
It is what it is, but if you’re going to be so insensetive to others, maybe don’t say it out loud

Words are human made
Guest
Words are human made

Understand that people understand the same word differently.
To me too, we grew up with the word Shvartza being the most normal and respectful word to use when referring to African Americans. In fact, the word Black was always considered very derogatory by us compared to Shvatze.

Yeah, words are man made and every circle might be using the same word differently, so don’t explode that there are non-racist people who use the word Shvartze in pure innocence not intending anything derogatory. To us, the word does not carry any more negative meaning than the word black or african american.

Just don't
Guest
Just don't

The fact that a word is factually correct doesn’t make it right. The fact that your bubby used it doesn’t make it right.

You might be red head, should I call you gingy? Or you’re short, should I call you shorty? Maybe you’re fat, should I call you fatty? None of those terms are objectively offensive. They are factual and some segments of society would be offended if you use those terms. In short why not just call people by their name, position, title or any other term that is appropriate that doesn’t involve their appearance.

Gingy
Guest
Gingy

None of those examples are essentially offensive and they can be used properly in certain contexts. Same with the word shvartze- it depends on context. I grew up in crown heights using the word shvartze-I never heard of them being called blacks or African Americans until one classmate with a politically correct upbringing informed us that our choice of words is somehow hateful. We used that word as the only word to refer to black non jews. There was no other word in circulation. To suggest that all of crown heights who uses a certain word has certain sentiment couldnt… Read more »

This is true
Guest
This is true

All those who downvoted his comment don’t come from Crown Heights. I can testify it’s all true

Explain
Guest
Explain

Why is “Shvartze” considered “factually correct but not right”, and “Black” you consider “factually correct and right”? To us who grew up in Crown Heights, the word Shvartze is not “just factually correct”, it’s just the normal “English” word for it THE SAME AS BLACK OR A.M. If you shouldn’t call a short person shorty, does it mean you can’t call a french person french? Or a black person african american? Or a black person shvartze? The difference in meaning between black and shvartze exists BY YOU (and indeed many others, especially those who didn’t grow up with this word).… Read more »

So powerful
Guest
So powerful

Thank you for sharing this vital message to this audience. For what it’s worth, I’m a ‘regular’ FFB who is regularly sickened by how many of my fellow frum colleagues talk about race and lack a basic understanding of what minority communities and particularly the African American community have to deal with. To me, anyone who’s familiar with our own history would be particularly understanding and empathetic in these areas. As chassidim; look at how the Rebbe spoke to and about non-jews and African Americans that came for dollars etc. When the Rebbe told David Dinkins that we are one… Read more »

Dear Esther
Guest
Dear Esther

Thank you for writing your piece.
Can I just comment how absolutely pretty your daughter is ?
Maybe not so relevant to the points you raised but I think it needs be said .
I’m really sorry you felt hurt and that she was discriminated against . The fact that she looks different than 99% of the community I see not a reason for her to be treated as anything less than the daughter of a king .
I think there’s space for disagreement in politics, but your article was a good reminder that we all have to be more considerate and respectful.

yes
Guest
yes

shes a gorgious little girl. you should have only happiness from her

CH'er
Guest
CH'er

Thank you for article. You do make a very valid point and may hashem bless you and your family and we should all look at you (which I’m sure most normal yidden do) just exactly the same chelek elokah and human being that we are. I think you may be veering off point a bit. I don’t know a single jewish person who isn’t outraged about Mr Floyd being killed in broad daylight (although he is far far from a tzadik as you can view his record) so to say that is a bit delusional. Also, regarding vandalism and rioting,… Read more »

you were at a protest?
Guest
you were at a protest?

How do you know what their signs say? Thousands and thousands of people at these protests.

Funny also to me how when referring to the CH riots people always neglect to mention a black child was killed when hit by a car. And this is what sparked the riots on top of existing tensions. Convenient.

How can you compare?
Guest
How can you compare?

The child was killed by accident, struck by a car. Very sad, but ZERO excuse for protests and certainly for riots!!

I was at the Crown Heights riots
Guest
I was at the Crown Heights riots

A black child died when hit by a car. That was a tragic accident. Almost immediately afterward, a racist black crowd started to riot and killed a Jewish man on purpose. Accidents unfortunately happen. Riots are purposefully hateful and destructive.

This makes me so sad to see
Guest
This makes me so sad to see

How can u say such a thing??
To comment ” I was at the ch riots” exactly u said it on point!! For some reason this person who claims that when ppl forget to mention the black child hit by a car, also forgets to mention the Jewish man that was killed ON PURPOSE!!

That was an accident
Guest
That was an accident

… seems like an ‘excuse’ to riot etc

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

It is a real catch 22, like every issue. People who were thrown down more than they were picked up, regardless of whether they are black or white, will have a harder time seeing good in the other side. When someone points out that something insulting was said, by either a black or a white, both sides should be willing to say sorry, and intend to be more careful next time. Both groups have been put down excessively throughout history, so let’s try to understand eachother.

Beautiful
Guest
Beautiful

Your daughter is beyond beautiful

I agree with all your points
Guest
I agree with all your points

Except the implication that something is amiss when children touch your daughter’s hair or beads. To lump that in with the other negative stuff is misguided. Children are simply curious about the world around them, and things that are different. Don’t turn their innocence into racism.

Sure
Guest
Sure

When we stop seeing Blackface for Purim maybe we can talk

Children should be educated about this
Guest
Children should be educated about this

But your right about little children who are too young to understand yet. Their inocence shoudlnt be confused with racism

Gross
Guest
Gross

I would never blame children for their innocence but I’d demand that their parent be accountable for their ignorance. Any child who touches another child’s hair and calls it sheep clearly has had no exposure to the beauty that is diversity.
50 Children’s Books That Celebrate Diversity | The Everymom
https://theeverymom.com/diverse-childrens-books/

Misguided
Guest
Misguided

You are misguided in your thought process. The children playing with the hair and saying it feels like sheep does not stem from a lack of education. If she was WHITE with curly hair that felt that way, they would have said the same thing. You are wrongly translating their innocent statement into racism while it has nothing to do with racism or education. They could have been educated with all the books you want to feed them and they would innocently have said the same thing. PS the education and books won’t prepare them for the FEEL of curly… Read more »

valid point
Guest
valid point

it could be that the parents are a little paranoid about the daughter being looked at or treated differently that any curious eye is taken as racism. while i think your daughter is absolutely gorgeous, i think it’s important to embrace her color and not be embarrassed of it/ her hair. that’ll only help her feel like she’s equal

What do u want a medal because your child is blk ?
Guest
What do u want a medal because your child is blk ?

Now is not the time to point fingers at your community. Can’t you highlight the good things about all of us, including you ?

Moshiach Now

How?
Guest
How?

A Jewish mother is vulnerably sharing her personal painful experience and you have the audacity to be so crass? As for your moshiach now… how about some ahavas chinam?

Well Written
Guest
Well Written

We need to be more sensitive and how we speak of other people, but even more so, we need to reflect on our views and beliefs of other human beings, all created in the image of G-d.

Totally agreed
Guest
Totally agreed

And davka when we unite BECAUSE of the differences, and not DESPITE them, is there true unity. Like two contrasting colors on a beautiful painting

And?
Guest
And?

Where’s your data that this isn’t already how we all see humans?
I see it this way, you see it this way, tell me who doesn’t. Don’t make it sound like us Jews are categorically lacking in this. I’d say that there are many more black racists percentage-wise than racist Jewish people. Jewish people are from the most accepting and respecting cultures in the word (minus maybe a few select groups, but no one here).

I agree 100%
Guest
I agree 100%

Where in what I wrote did you see that I think that Jews are less accepting than blacks?

We need to be more sensitive
Guest
We need to be more sensitive

Correct. We need to be more sensitive of how we speak of other people, i.e. how we speak of the Orthodox Jewish Community at large. The author was not sensitive nor factual in her accusations, and it hurts me.

Jewish activists
Guest
Jewish activists

You have a beautiful family and no one deserve to be treated less then anyone else.

On another note : Where were all these Jewish peace lovers and activist when a black man went on a murder rampage in Monsey ??
I don’t remember everyone saying “ if your silent your complicit “ …..

I agree
Guest
I agree

Where were they?

To my Jewish sister
Guest
To my Jewish sister

your daughter is absolutely beutiful! BH you have a beutiful family to be proud of! I am inspired that you worked hard to get where you are today!
I wish for you from the bottom of my heart that your family bring you much happiness, and that you shouldn’t feel any pain, only revealed good!

I love the COL community!
Guest
I love the COL community!

When I go onto some other Jewish websites, there is so much hate and negativity.
Here on COL there is love, acceptance and positive energy.
Even the comments of disagreement with the author were written with thoughtfulness.
It says a LOT about who we are as a community!
Thank you COL and thank you everyone for this meaningful conversation 🙂

Dear Esther
Guest
Dear Esther

I just wnat to say I grew up in crown heights only Jewish family on our block all my playmates were black . I touched their hair cuz it was so different from mine , I was jealous that they got to wear beads and all sorts of pretty jewelry in their hair . I begged my mother for braids and cornrows . They played with moments because it was so fine and straight and different from theirs , and they were jealous of it so red color and how long it. Was . I fully understand that some ppl… Read more »

Very possible
Guest
Very possible

Given the age of the children involved, “feels like sheep” could have been simply a neutral observation, or a compliment in their eyes.

Gd gave blacks their hair
Guest
Gd gave blacks their hair

Jews primarily have European hair. They’re curious to feel her hair bc its different. They’re saying what it feels like. Period. Of course they can ask her if they could feel her hair. Personally, I’d say no. Everyone should have boundaries they feel comfortable with.

To the mom
Guest
To the mom

I think a lot of people in Brooklyn are racist because there only interaction with black ppl is overwhelming negatives as they are quite aggressive in the community. It’s jot fair and you’re cute little daughter doesn’t need to pay for that . I think just understand that very true point , while not an exscuse … might help

Racism in CH
Guest
Racism in CH

Much of the negative feelings and actions from the African American community in CH stems from the level of racism. If you repeatedly treat someone horribly, one day you will reap what you sow. Jewish people need to realize that we are also a minority and instead of stepping on other minorities who already with systemic oppression, we need to treat everyone with kindness and respect. You’ll be amazed at how much things will change.

Idiot is not the word.
Guest
Idiot is not the word.

Negative feelings come from our level of racism?

Who is doing all the muggings, stabbings, beatings and MURDERS in CH against the Jewish Community?

Okunov, Goldman, Lapine, Rosenbaum… all murdered by BLACKS. Blacks should get on their knees and apologize for their systematic racism against the Jewish community. We owe them NOTHING!

Oh please
Guest
Oh please

And to say we don’t? Many of us do respect them. We don’t curse them, harrass them, mug them. They keep on doing it to us and don’t fool urself that they are doing it cuz they are mistreated by Jews. That’s nonsense.

Time for blacks to take full responsibility for their actions and live peacefully with us Jews in ch

Article by the daughter of Mrs. Lapine hyd.
Guest
Article by the daughter of Mrs. Lapine hyd.

When I read your comment I thought of the recent article on this website where the daughter of Mrs. Lapine hy’d who was murdered by a black man says that she was never told the color of the mans skin only that he was a bad person. She was then able to see good black people without judging them by their skin color. Personally this resonates with me as in my experience growing up in Crown Heights, I had a new neighbor move in that began fighting with the Jewish kids on the block without provocation. I personally received a… Read more »

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

Thank you for sharing. I wish I could say it will help change the community but so many of us have lost hope in people being less Racist. 🙁

Chaim
Guest
Chaim

Nobody justified and excused the killing of George Floyd Period!!
The riots, violence and murder taking place is inexcusable and unjustified on anyway. anyone attempting to do so is plain and simple evil. The rioters are perpetrating a second injustice for George Floyd and everyone (black and white) who were murdered unjustly. This has nothing to do with justice, nothing. Stop shaming people in to submitting to your woke views. The truth shall be spoken.

Correct
Guest
Correct

The behavior following the injustice done to this ‘group of people’ just adds fuel to the fire and acts as validation for why they are treated ‘unjustly’ (by some).

Unjustly by Some or Systemic by All?
Guest
Unjustly by Some or Systemic by All?

How dare you??! “Acts as validation?” Since when is there ever an excuse to treat others wrongly??!?? EVEN if you think others are behaving inappropriately, what happened to “Bemakom she’eino ish, hishtadel lihiyos ish”. And “unjustly” in quotations??? By some??? Do some research on racism in this country. SYSTEMIC racism.on how it affects Every. Single. Aspect. Of an oppressed person’s life. Check your privilege. Learn what it means. Understand how it affects those at the other end of the see-saw. And then talk.

Privilege?
Guest
Privilege?

Where’s our privilege when we are assaulted, cursed and beaten up just for being Jewish? We didn’t have any ‘privilege’ in Poway by whites or in Jersey City by blacks…Jewish lives don’t matter

Dear Esther,
Guest
Dear Esther,

This is a beautiful, poignant and well written piece. And, after reading some of the ugly comments really worthy of printing. I cannot believe in 2020 orthodox jews still use the “s” word. It is just as ugly as the “n” word. I hope other publications ask to reprint this piece. I look at the photo of you and your daughter with your huge smiles- my heart is full. Maybe the community in Baltimore is not a perfect fit for you. Are you prepared to raise your daughter surrounded by ignorance? Maybe you should consider moving to a community where… Read more »

Just Saying
Guest
Just Saying

It wasn’t until recently that the secular world started accepting within themselves those with mental health issues. Not a surprise it’s only been recently that our communities have also been opening their arms to such situations.
It is unclear though, if you are talking about a child with special needs, or one with a mental problem.

Don't judge so quicky
Guest
Don't judge so quicky

I understand that to YOU the “s” word is as ugly as the “n” word, but to us it’s not. “Shvartze” to us doesn’t mean anything worse than when we say “African American”. Everyone uses words differently, but don’t judge us quickly using YOUR dictionary. We don’t mean it in the way you hear it. We can try to stop using it now that you brought to our attention how YOU understand it, but you have to understand how we see it before being appalled by the fact that we used the “s” word in 2020, while we would never… Read more »

True dat
Guest
True dat

Racism is ugly. It’s also hardwired into our DNA. We put things we experience into boxes so that we don’t have to reprocess things we experience from scratch every time we experience things. It’s an efficiency and survival mechanism. But it’s gone awry as we’ve developed and matured as a species. Gender, skin color, height, weight and any other markers our brain might slip to use as a marker, we now know are not markers. But it takes awareness, maturity, desire and work to push back against one’s own mind’s semi-automated processes. But it’s tough to have an intellectually honest… Read more »

Your comment is racist to the frum community
Guest
Your comment is racist to the frum community

Please don’t blame all religious Jews because of some who are nasty.

I would not many of us are racist, but after being attacked and attacked again and again, so you not see why we have negative feelings towards blacks? Nothing to do with their color but it’s how they act.

And if we truly live by the Torah and work on our middos, judge others favorably etc, that will develop more positive feelings towards others

Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated
Guest
Treat Others as You Wish to be Treated

Dont blame all religious Jews but it’s okay to blame all blacks? It’s okay to subtype the “some who are nasty”, but not to recognize that blacks are not all the same? People are diverse and skin color has nothing to do with it. The same way you want it acknowledged that not all Jews are “nasty”, and even acknowledge it yourself, recognize that the Black community is much more diverse than you make it out to be, and that your experiences are not representative of all black people. And, in the same breath, you say that you have negative… Read more »

Reply
Guest
Reply

I hear you. I’m sorry that I rushed with my above comment. To explain- I grew up in Crown Heights, was cursed at when simply taking a walk, know people who were attacked or mugged, and yes, Jews have too many negative interactions with blacks in crown heights. But In no way do I believe the ones who cause trouble represent the blacks as a whole. Not at all. And honestly, I pray for those in ch, and elsewhere, who commit crimes. I pray for them to live happy, healthy, moral, stable lives. I want them to be able to… Read more »

Thank You
Guest
Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to explain.

yyf
Guest
yyf

Would like to qualify a few of the points you bring up. 🙂 The first point: While rasicm and putting experiences into boxes seems to be an inborn trait (it is, after all, something that children often do), it is something that, like other tendencies and traits, as you said, a person can work on and change. True, it is part of the western culture/mentality to tend to label things and to think everything is either/or (and not along a spectrum, i.e. variable). However, this is something which can be overcome, and indeed, the Rebbe teaches and shows by example… Read more »

Interesting...
Guest
Interesting...

Not saying I agree or disagree with what you wrote,
but you literally said that people who are part of a certain community (in this case, the “ultra-Orthodox, Chassidic Judaism one”) INHERENTLY have a derogatory quality (being racist) BECAUSE they are part of that community.
Make your own conclusions, but pretty sure that’s textbook racism

You are both precious
Guest
You are both precious

Your daughter’s neshama shines on her face. Honestly, people probably don’t know how to react. Not necessarily do they mean to come across as degrading. It’s kind of like if there’s a Chinese kid in an all black school- everyone would naturally see that kid as different than them. As your daughter grows up, she will know not to take it personally and that it’s just human nature. And those friends close to her will feel the equality. Hashem wants this diversity, we are all one. I;m sure you di a wonderful job at giving her that reassuring, easy going… Read more »

Ben Shapiro
Guest
Ben Shapiro

All i say is go check his videos on the separation of RACISM and RIOTING

Powerful
Guest
Powerful

Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. As someone who has been to a protest near crown Heights I can say that it was completely peaceful. Violence and crime is wrong and Yes the riots are bad but the people that are out here really fighting for justice are doing so peacefully. I wish our community would be more supportive and stop looking at people who are a different color differently. We are all made in the image of god which was what I was taught but not really shown. I hope one day we can… Read more »

To Esther
Guest
To Esther

I feel for you but I do believe that we ALL need to stop pandering to political correctness. People are people. Black, brown or white, if you are a decent human being, that’s how you should be viewed. I get that. But 3 year olds aren’t inherently racist. They are curious and they accept differences. What is a problem is the automatic defensiveness we all feel…in our case, it’s because we are Jews. Everyone is antisemitic? No, only the ones who make the headlines. Every white person is racist? Again, no. Every Black person is a criminal? Do you get… Read more »

White
Guest
White

It also happens by white men to white men
Each person has who they like and who they dont and the person that he does not like bad or ignore them

Bottom line people hate people for appearance we can not change it
But what you could change is yourself and the way you judge and treat people

Only nachas!
Guest
Only nachas!

We must recognize that not every Jew looks the same outwardly.
May you have much nachas from your daughter!
Unfortunately the rioters have made this all about them with their actions.
Yes Floyd didn’t deserve the death penalty carried out by a rogue officer but personally, if someone has a police record a mile long, I’m not going to waste tears on him. The innocent casualties of the rioters deserve our sympathy more.

Curls intrigue
Guest
Curls intrigue

My daughters all have very curly hair. My youngest also has incredibly thick hair. People always comment on it, and yes, people reach out to touch it. Once, someone pulled a curl to watch it “boing” back up, causing her to blush with humiliation. I just want to point out that people might just touch your daughter’s curls because they are curious. Truthfully, they should ask her first, but I think they just don’t think. (I also highly recommend the book Curly Girls! I bought a copy for my daughter in law because she never dealt with curly hair, as… Read more »

Consider Israel
Guest
Consider Israel

If you truly feel your daughter does not fit in, consider moving to Israel. It’s one huge melting pot, here, with people of all skin shades in various degrees of religious beliefs.
Hatzlacha Rabba!!

Curious
Guest
Curious

I find it curious to see how so many people have suggestions for others instead of turning inward and working on themselves

Please advise
Guest
Please advise

How can I work on myself to be more non-racist if I already am non-racist??
Probably the people saying suggestions to others are from the 99% of us who are not racist, so there’s nothing more to say inwardly

Open To all humanity
Guest
Open To all humanity

Children can learn all around the world culture it’s fascinating this child is honestly gorgeous and there’s often abuse with children or bullying speak to Izzy Kalman he’s number one professional for children turning bully to buddy

Open To all humanity
Guest
Open To all humanity

Check out turning bully children to buddy Izzy kalman your daughter is gorgeous

WOW-lots of accusations against a whole community
Guest
WOW-lots of accusations against a whole community

lots of accusations against a whole community

quite ironic when the author is decrying bias against her family

sorry to have to say this
Guest
sorry to have to say this

sorry to have to say this, but many in the african american commmunity are from the most racist folks I have ever met they hate whites they hate Jews there’s a lot more to this story why is it ok to hate a white person? why is it ok to hate a Jew? Listen to the videos of the hate filled and very scary comments of some african americans on the street at the time of the murderous attacks on Jews in NJ, in Monsey, in Williamsburg, In Crown Heights and barely a US citizen of whatever color shed a… Read more »

Thank you for speaking the truth!!
Guest
Thank you for speaking the truth!!

This is exactly it. You scream black lives matter and that we have to respect black people? Well maybe start respecting white people and maybe start respecting JEWISH PEOPLE???

Lead by Example
Guest
Lead by Example

Are we really playing tit-for-tat? Let’s be bigger. Let’s lead by example.

We DO
Guest
We DO

that’s why we literally NEVER riot after anything.
We are bigger. We do lead by example.
No one seems to get it, though

All Lives Matter
Guest
All Lives Matter

An analogy I heard that I believe is worth sharing:
Imagine a mother- who Heaven forfend- loses a child. And, in delivering a eulogy, a stranger walks up, grabs the mic, and shouts, “all children matter.”
Of course all children matter! And of course all lives matter!! No one is denying that. But, in saying all lives matter when there are specific lives who are systemically at risk- real and raw pain is being disregarded.

Floyd
Guest
Floyd

George floyd was a thug just like Eric garner. When farrakhan stops calling us bloodsuckers and Sharpton calling us diamond dealers call me back

it feels like sheep
Guest
it feels like sheep

in all honesty I have never heard this before being said about anyone’s hair and I know many people with curly and frizzy hair from all backgrounds-
while someone may have said this to your daughter, you write about this as if all the children in frum communities go around saying this, something that is simply false

Curly hair
Guest
Curly hair

I personally hated my hair because it was always so silky and flat. I couldn’t wait to get married and cover it. But I had many people touch my hair and comment on how silky it was. I don’t think they meant anything wrong even though I hated my hair and I don’t think those people who said your daughters hair feels like sheep meant anything wrong either. I think we have to accept our own differences and feel good about them before we can expect others too. Most comments from the frum community are not meant to be racist.… Read more »

selective fury on the part of the BLM movement
Guest
selective fury on the part of the BLM movement

where is the BLM outrage over David Dorn (who was black), a pawn shop security guard, who was shot and lay bleeding to death this week, while rioters who shot him and rioters who witnessed it watched and did nothing to help him, and filmed it to a live feed no less?!?!???? where is BLM when black kids, teens and adults get shot and killed by other blacks in cities all over the US where is BLM when people in the black community need help with school where is BLM when people in the black community don’t have what to… Read more »

who ya gonna call?
Guest
who ya gonna call?

If someone breaks into someone’s house G-D forbid, who you gonna call?
BLM or your local cop?
‘Nuff said
Hope all these rioters don’t act hypocritical and call the cops if they need help. Why would they call someone they claim are murderers and curse out
one despicable act by a cop somewhere doesn’t give you the right to curse out and attack all other cops

have you ever said thank you to a police officer
Guest
have you ever said thank you to a police officer

it’s a good time to start if you have not yet done so
(this by no means justifies inappropriate behavior by a cop)

It’s actually simple.
Guest
It’s actually simple.

1. I am sorry you are in pain you should really speak this out with a therapist and try to worth through it. I don’t think an open letter will do much long term healing. 2. It’s actually quite simple. There is a difference between a Shvartze and a person with black/brown skin. A Shvartze is a person with black/brown skin that acts in a certain way ie. Violent, menacing, and commits crimes as you described. Many black/brown people are fine individuals and they themselves want to get away from the “ Shvartze “ element. HaShem should give you Koach… Read more »

Stand strong with Hashem
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Stand strong with Hashem

Esther, in the life we live as Frum Yidden, Chassidim, we must never forget our imperative. We answer to Hashem only. Things happen to all community members regardless of color. People make choices that defy the basic tenet of Ahavas Yisroel, on a regular basis, in the name of religion. Do not be disuayed by people. There are black people with white insides and vice versa. Stand tight with The Almighty. That is our essence. People are short-sighted and often superficial. Choose your friends. Above all be happy and proud to be a part of Am Yisroel.

If the ‘s’ word...
Guest
If the ‘s’ word...

… is considered derogatory, (even if not by you), just don’t use it. Main thing is look at everyone as an individual, no matter the background, skin color. But, I do understand the fear of the blacks (as a whole) when someone experienced something scary from them. That is human reaction (survival instinct).

Ptu ptu ptu
Guest
Ptu ptu ptu

Jewish, black. Black, Jewish. Whatever. She’s also very very cute kinehora
May you have much nachas from your adorable kinderlach!

Your daughter is so so so so cute!!
Guest
Your daughter is so so so so cute!!

Like adorableeeeee. It doesn’t matter about the skin color of a Yid. In general, it doesn’t matter the skin color of a person, we’re all human. There are tons of black people who are the sweetest people ever, it’s just when we see so so many crimes and actions being done by people of the African American race, how can you not be scared? The death George Floyd wasn’t right at alllllll and that police officer did a terrible terrible thing! But I don’t understand how rioting and looting is going to help them. I don’t understand what they want.… Read more »

Markus
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Markus

Racism is terrible, I just don’t believe that the outrage over riots looting and more innocent lives getting killed defines your fellow jews who love you and your daughter as racists, even if the focus is not of the black man who was killed, most of our community is mortified by what the cop did, however right now it’s getting clouded by america getting terrorized, businesses that have been shut for Two + month had all their inventory robbed etc. And kids with undeveloped brains whose parents may or may have not guided them of every scenario of tact, also… Read more »

Generalizing is bad for any community
Guest
Generalizing is bad for any community

Please don’t use the R. word so lightly.
I really feel your pain but why generalize the whole community??
This is exactly what people do when they are generalizing the black community

Generalizing is bad for any community
Guest
Generalizing is bad for any community

Please don’t use the R. word so lightly.
I really feel your pain but why generalize your whole community??
This is exactly what people do when they are generalizing the black community

Yes
Guest
Yes

Same way saying all black people are criminals is wrong, it’s also wrong to say Jewish people are all racist.

Not so easy
Guest
Not so easy

Especially for people in crown heights who constantly have bricks thrown at them, it’s not that they’re racist, they just are fed up

I'm against their behavior, not their color
Guest
I'm against their behavior, not their color

I’m so sorry you feel this way, and I hope you will be more accepted in the Jewish community. I do feel however that it isn’t fair to blame a whole Jewish cmunity because of those you meet. There and many many Jews who fully respect people of all types. Additionally, Crown Heights has seen too many attacks by blacks. And no it’s not because we don’t accept them. So Am I racist? no. I don’t have anything against their color. But do I have positive and respectful feelings for them? Tell me- if you live in a community where… Read more »

Why are we the only ones who are different?
Guest
Why are we the only ones who are different?

If you’re saying “please don’t call all Jews racist, some are some aren’t, don’t generalize” them why are you generalizing that every single black person is bad and violent and unworthy of respect?

Listen to yourself
Guest
Listen to yourself

Switch the order of the sentences in your comment and read it back to yourself

Your kid is not Jewish and black, black and Jewish
Guest
Your kid is not Jewish and black, black and Jewish

She is only Jewish (who happens to have darker skin). Similar to being Jewish, who happens to have freckles, etc. Jewish. Don’t mix up things.

Exactly
Guest
Exactly

Saying “Jewish and black” inherently implies that black is as much a part of identity as being Jewish is, which isn’t true. One’s a body thing, and a color of the body at that, and one’s a soul thing, an identity thing.

I am Jewish and mexican
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I am Jewish and mexican

I am jewish and mexican, but never ever identify myself as part of Mexican culture, I am Jewish first! I have no ties to the culture or to the people, Jews are always separate. Just like now I am a Jew who happens to live in America, a Jewish American, never the other way around. Where we happen to be born is only temporary in galus, what counts is the Jewish part. The Mexican people’s plight is not my plight when conversations of borders happen I do not get offended, because I do not consider myself to be apart of… Read more »

Amazing
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Amazing

just amazing… a true example

Unconditional love
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Unconditional love

BS”D with a lot of help from Gd My Rebbe. My parents. And the topic of race. My parents and my Rebbe never differentiated between people. There were no black people and no white people. Everyone was equally respected and accepted. My parents and my Rebbe were my best teachers. In Judaism, there is no such thing as intermarriage between a black person and a white person. In Judaism it is simply a marriage of two people. Gd told us to treat others better than we treat ourselves. Gd doesn’t separate us by color. Gd doesn’t judge us as so… Read more »

See it from their perspective...
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See it from their perspective...

The same way you dont want others to be “religion-blind” black people don’t want you to be “color-blind”. I don’t want to speak for others, but I think it’s important that before we decide what to dismiss any facet/quality of a person, we hear from them.

I totally agree with you
Guest
I totally agree with you

however, just for the readers sake. It would be better to say: “In judaism there is no such thing as intermarriage between a black jewish person and a white jewish person….
As you know they both have to be Jewish for this to work
Thank you for understanding

There are so many of us- JEWS of Color
Guest
There are so many of us- JEWS of Color

Your daughter is so beautiful! And so my kids who are Latinos and Jewish. We have to stop seeing Jews as a RACE. it’s clear according to halacha that JEWS are nation with rules to belong to it like any other nation.

There are so many of us- JEWS of Color
Guest
There are so many of us- JEWS of Color

Your daughter is so beautiful! And so are we, Latinos and Jewish!
We have to stop seeing ourselves as a race and start seeing ourselves as we truly are one nation with its laws.
My process of becoming American made me realize How similar this is to the process of conversion according to halacha.
Racism has no place in Judaism.

your daugther is beautiful
Guest
your daugther is beautiful

Your daughter is beautiful and a cutie. You should shepp nachas

Dear Esther - RE THE USE OF 'SHVARTZE'
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Dear Esther - RE THE USE OF 'SHVARTZE'

Dear Esther, Please realize the word “shvartze” is NOT and NEVER is or was a racist word. Is saying “black lives matter” racist, by calling African Americans (and others will dark skin colour) “black”. No, the word in Yiddish doesn’t have any other meaning, implied or not, to mean anything racist. We love all people, and it’s so beautiful to see a proud Jewish mother standing up for her daughter and her family’s rights to no racism. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist still, and unfortunately after clashes with the African American community, we do have bad memories of them.… Read more »

Unfortunately, others use it differently
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Unfortunately, others use it differently

While it is nice to hear that you don’t have any negative associations with the word, for most, it is used with negative or “less than” connotations. Because words are never received in a vacuum, I thi k it is important to be wary of our perceivers biases.

Realize
Guest
Realize

Words are not used in a vaccuum, and those who are using it negatively will have the same negative meaning if they used the word black.

And those who use it neutrally, mean it nuetrally regradless of whether they used Shvartze or A.M.

Nice
Guest
Nice

Love this article. Keep it up your da best

We should all stand together.
Guest
We should all stand together.

I read to the end and I also cried. Jewish or not, we need to accept, treat, share. . This is the goodness that Hashem wants us to live by. Children learn from watching and hearing the adults around them. If we want equality for all, we should start in the home with the parents, Grandparents and family wanting goodness in this world. Including Faith and Customs, And Respect. We all need to watch and change our actions and words for the future.society needs to change when a person of color shakes hands with a person of non color the… Read more »

Missed the point
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Missed the point

May i point out that the reason ppl arent focusing as much on the “dead man on the street” is because we a re currently facing a crisis, a crisis in which maniacs have decided that a black life only matters when taken by a white which somehow has a connection to them stealing cars. This is not a opinion but a fact. Nobody thinks the cop was right. No one. He should get a life sentence and if possible the death penalty, And we all agree it was a disgraceful and despicable thing. HOWEVER, the focus is taken off… Read more »

Outrage
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Outrage

And where is the outrage you say? Where was their outrage at all of the anti semitic attacks carried out? lives only matter if black? Now thats real racism. If a jew is stabbed in monsey and blacks do nothing its fine but if we dont have a outrage over a death when it has resulted in millions taking to the streets (IN MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC i might add) and rioting supposedly at the outrage of thia mans death, We’r racist? Come on. Be real

lives matter
Guest
lives matter

Insecurities come from whithin ourselves. If you are comfortable with who you are and what you are doing, you are immuned from any bullying.
Jewish people have been persecuted. Black people have been too. And everyone agrees it has to stop. But right now is an inaproprite time to cry about the persecution of black people when the rioters are terrorising america.
When crimes are commited, we dont try to explain, defend or find excuses for the criminals.

You are a terrorist sympathizer
Guest
You are a terrorist sympathizer

The fact that you get angry because you think people don’t care (or don’t care “enough”) for the life of one criminal killed (wrongly) by police, while you don’t show any interest for the thousands of people killed, hurt or had their property destroyed by the terrorists, shows that you sympathize with them.

Similar Situation
Guest
Similar Situation

Thank you so much for posting your story. We have a lot in common! I’m a righteous convert who adopted a black child when she was 10 years-old. She did not wish to become Jewish because she didn’t think she could be a good Jew. How respectful! She is accepted in my community for who she is, but I still experience innuendos of prejudice from some. For example, there was a wedding in my community for which I had done a lot of work: given shower, hosted guests, etc. I was invited to the wedding but my daughter was not.… Read more »

Nice to hear your daughter is accepted
Guest
Nice to hear your daughter is accepted

Yes. This sounds right. Your community as a whole all accepts your black daughter and there are only a select FEW individuals who POSSIBLY have an issue (can’t say for sure they are racist without hearing the other side. there can always be another reason that has nothing to do with race and you were just being quick to jump to conclusions).

Can you please elaborate
Guest
Can you please elaborate

You imply that there is ignorance and intolerance that needs to be overcome. Can you elaborate what you are referring to? Or who you are referring to? You mean those few individuals? Or you think we all have an issue of ignorance and intolerance?

It's just a matter of conveniance
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It's just a matter of conveniance

It’s horribly frustrating to have to say the words “African American” every time I talk about them. “Shvartze” is so much easier. If the PC term wasn’t 7 syllables long, I would use it.

True
Guest
True

We don’t mean it any different than when me say African American. (Those who mean it negatively mean it with all the words they use and the majority of us who don’t mean it negatively don’t mean negativity with any of the words we use)

Wow. Wow. Wow.
Guest
Wow. Wow. Wow.

And btw lame excuse. Most want to be called black.

Black is shorter
Guest
Black is shorter

Shvartze is 2 sylables. Black is one. Talk about convenience…

On a more serious note, it’s just hard to just change a regular word you are used to using. But at least he’s clarifying that he too doesn’t mean it in any more derogatory way than the PC words

Let's set up a playdate after pandemic
Guest
Let's set up a playdate after pandemic

We are in Baltimore, my daughter is 2 & 1/2, black/jewish. We aren’t Frum but are conservative. We can start our own support group and meet up on playgrounds when they reopen so our daughters can enjoy being children and see themselves as the beautiful blessings they are

Yes and no
Guest
Yes and no

Yes, for sure, meetup. Especially the support element.
But no, residing to grouping black Jews together is against the whole point. We accept you INTO our community, don’t break away and make your own circle.

Additionally, be cautious of the “echo chamber” effect. The two of you might amplify each others mistaken perceptions that we don’t accept you. You will only hear your own perspectives over and over. Instead chat with me and my friends and we can tell you how much we really love all of you.

Reply to "yes and no"
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Reply to "yes and no"

You and other frum Jews need to stsrt listening to black Jews and parents of black children. They don’t wsnt your advice. You need to hear, not speak.

Again with accusations
Guest
Again with accusations

Which Frum Jew do you know who does not listen to black Jews?? We are all ready to hear. Speak and we’ll hear. (And if we have insight that can help them, we are allowed to share it too. We can hear AND speak, don’t stifle us)

It's actually wise advice
Guest
It's actually wise advice

Kabeil Es Ho’emes Mimi She’oimro

Amazing
Guest
Amazing

I loved your article, your daughter and you. We live in the same community. And I often have feelings like we are isolated in our community. Having a special needs child also puts a certain stigma on families and the feeling like we are alone.
We get stared at as well, and don’t get invited. Thank you Esther for this tear jerker article. My heart is with you.

Relax
Guest
Relax

For kids to stare at a special needs child is normal.
It’s sad, but normal and expected on any community. This has nothing to do with Orthodox Jewry. Don’t take it personal.

Same with having a black kid in an all white school, they will get stared at the same much that a white kid would get stared at in an all black school. It’s not from racism.

Jewish attitude towards black people...
Guest
Jewish attitude towards black people...

…is frequently about social class, not biological race. The cold hard fact is that too many Jews have had too many negative experiences with lower-class people who also happen to be black. (I have lifelong vertigo thanks to permanent inner-ear damage thanks to getting punched in the face by two young black men for no reason whatsoever, and my great-great-grandfather was beaten to death in his own home back in the 1930s by two black burglars.) Couple that with genuinely biased attitudes from older parents who grew up in segregated times, and you get Jews middle-aged and up who discriminate… Read more »

Tunkele
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Tunkele

Rabbi Chefer alav hashalom was talking to the Rebbetzin, and mentioned the word shvartze. The Rebbetzin said not to use that word, but use Tunkele instead.

"Shvartzeh"
Guest
"Shvartzeh"

is an offensive word, period. It may technically just mean “black,” but its connotation is undeniably negative; it should never be used.

Wrong
Guest
Wrong

The connotation of Shvartze is not any more negative than “african american”

Maybe to YOU there’s a difference, but everyone uses words differently, so don’t make blanket statements. To me and many others, we don’t mean anything different than “African American” when we use the word “Shavrtzae” so please don’t tell ME what *I* mean when *I* say a word.

Not really
Guest
Not really

Yes and no.
No, the word is not more derogatory than the word “black”.
Yes, both “Black” and “Shavrtze” and “African American” (equally) have a negative connotation in our community. A reputation which they earned themselves.

It’s got nothing to do with the choice of word, it’s the group of people it refers to. In some places it refers to very nice people, like on some blocks in my community it refers to very nice people and on some blocks in my community it refers to very low people vdal.

Shoshana Hahn
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Shoshana Hahn

I’d like to start by saying I put my name on purpose. I’m jewish and black, I live in Crown Heights. Feel free to look me up on Facebook, so you can recognize me in the streets. Maybe some of you know me from my mother in law. I wanted to first tell the person who wrote this article that I hear you, I feel you and I support you. I wish things were different, I wish people were more educated, and I wish people were willing to change. I’m here if you wanna share some thoughts or just talk.… Read more »

Here's a beautiful story
Guest
Here's a beautiful story

In case you haven’t heard it.
I’ll shorten it to the punchline:

The Rebbe told the black Geir: “The Neshomo has no color”

For the rest of the details of the story, I think I’ve heard it from Kalmenson in Cincinnati maybe.

Shoshana, you are beautiful
Guest
Shoshana, you are beautiful

I am so sorry you had to read the many insensitive comments on this article. People mean well, they take umbrage at being labeled racist; that is understandable. Please continue to speak up with grace and courage and things will change. Know, that the comments here do not reflect the many wonderful members of our community that do not stand for the marginalization of minority voices. Know, that speaking up will always yield fruit even if imperceptible at first. Please don’t give up on our community even if we give you so much reason to. We are slow learners but… Read more »

Thank you
Guest
Thank you

It is for people like you, for comments like that I didn’t run away yet. Because you are right, there are good people, there are people willing to change, to learn, sensitive people. I can’t thank you enough for this. I don’t know if I will stay because I would hate myself for putting my daughter in this position. She, and my future other children, will for sure have to struggle because of their color but if I can protect them i will as long as I can. See for yourself, a lot of comments are so harsh. I really… Read more »

I am personally offended.
Guest
I am personally offended.

Don’t be racist against Orthodox Jews.
Don’t generalize all of us based on a few individuals.
You’re generalizing and attacking general Orthodox Jewry, while 99% of us Chabad are not racist.
You are committing the very crime that you are suspecting us of. Please don’t generalize.

I feel like I’m being personally accused of racism while it’s not true for myself and not true for all the Jewish people I know personally.

It’s the same crime like saying “Blacks commit crime”, while it’s only individual blacks who commit crime and now all blacks are seen in a bad light, that’s racism. So is this.

Shoshana Hahn
Guest
Shoshana Hahn

Of course BH not all orthodox Jews are racist Thank G.d ! But unfortunately we hear a lot from the racist jews. Speak up ! We wanna hear you, we want you around our children, in schools. We want you to tell racist people off !
I hear you ! I understand how you feel. I’m sure that wasn’t her intention 🙂

Can you be specific?
Guest
Can you be specific?

“We hear a lot from racist Jews” That’s an accusation. And you need something to back that. I’m Chabad and nobody that I know is racist. So I’m wondering where is this “we hear a lot of racist Jews” coming from. Satmar? Meah Shearim? Not us. It true we are more cautious of black people than we are of white people as far as staying safe from mugging, stabbing, bike stealing etc. But that’s not called being racist you understand, it’s just because we have no way to know and isolate which black stranger might mug you and which black… Read more »

Shoshana Hahn
Guest
Shoshana Hahn

No actually it’s not an accusation. It’s a fact. I didn’t say that all Jews were racist. I said we hear from them a lot. I became frum with Chabad. I mostly have been around Chabad. You probably are white. And I don’t mean it in a bad way. But I mean that as a white person, how can you tell me that Chabad is not racist. And so far, in my personal experience, Crown Heights as been the absolute worst. You want me to back it up ? I’ll be more than happy to tell you my story. Being… Read more »

I feel ur pain but inflating a cause will hurt it
Guest
I feel ur pain but inflating a cause will hurt it

When accusing a community one has to be very carefull with their words. I believe you that you had to deal with racism. But this article is inflating it to make it way more than it really is. Don’t get me wrong, even one act of racism out of ten thousand is too much and it could be the numbers are higher. But this is all anectodal and some of it is based on how the person is perceiving it. So be my guest to tell us actual facts and even your feeling and perceived racism but as long as… Read more »

Shoshana Hahn
Guest
Shoshana Hahn

This article is supposed to be a wake up call. If you feel so strongly about it, maybe it’s because you feel guilty about something. It’s not anecdotal when it happens every day, to all jews of color. Ask every jew of color you know (if you know any) if they ever experienced racism. I can assure you they all did. And no. You can’t tell me it’s me who perceived it wrong. When my husband is asked who made the shidduch with me, why would he marry a Schwartze, it is simply and plainly racist. I’m tired of having… Read more »

I Stand with You
Guest
I Stand with You

Why are we so concerned with propping up a sanitized image of the Chabad community? Let’s start listening to those who feel like they have been wronged or excluded instead of playing defense. This obfuscation has led to real damage in the CSA context. We can be better.

You didn't read well the last comment
Guest
You didn't read well the last comment

This article is doing exactly what it is complaining about. it generalizes ans stereotypes a whole community. yes there is racism but not as inflated as its made here. Generalizing and inflating will cause people to be defensive, rightly so. When you accuse a whole community what do you expect? we want to hear about the instances of racism but not in an inflated genralise way

Disagree with that caution is racist
Guest
Disagree with that caution is racist

I would never consider myself anything remotely close to racist, I am friends with many blacks here in Crown heights that are good people, and yet I am more cautious from black people than white people. It’s not out of racism. If I was sitting in a room with fellow Frum Yidden (even complete strangers), I’d be much quicker to leave my articles unattended, while if I was in a room full of black people, I am RIGHTFULLY more cautious. This does NOT in any way mean I think black people are categorically bad. It only takes ONE bad black… Read more »

You forgot to share your story
Guest
You forgot to share your story

You started saying you will back it up and share your personal story. But then started talking about how Jewish people commit crimes too (Yes, I’m cautious from Jewish people who seem suspicious too (e.g. drug addicts), and I’m not suspicious of black people who don’t seem suspicious at all, (e.g. a mother pushing a carriage)

Anyhow, I’m still waiting for your personal story you said you’d share (please no names or disclosing details that can count as LH)

Shoshana Hahn
Guest
Shoshana Hahn

I hear you. The numbers you are talking about are biased (since black people in the world are more likely to be falsely accused or sentenced wrong compared to white people but let’s not get into this rn) If I follow your logic, I would seriously stay away from frum jews. Because I’ve been robbed, I’ve been treated badly by a lot of frum jews. Yes most are good. But I will leave Crown Heights (like other black Jews did) because I’ve never been treated so miserably. I won’t share my personal story here, in the middle of comments. I… Read more »

Really?
Guest
Really?

Assuming a higher probability about a person based on their skin color is racism? Every race has their differences, they are not absolutes, but they DO raise the possibilities. To go with an assumption that a black person has a higher probability of being taller and stronger than Jewish people is not racism. It’s just saying that a black person has a higher probability. Chinese have a higher probability of having small eyes. Mexicans have a higher probability of being short. Jews have a higher probability of having poor eyesight. None of these STATISTICS say anything definitive about any individual… Read more »

Shoshana Hahn
Guest
Shoshana Hahn

I’m done after that. If you insist on being right, and you really don’t wanna listen, there is nothing I can do. Assuming a higher probability based on someone’s skin color isn’t racist when it comes to physical things. Come on. Read your comment. Everything you said were physical details. Not behavioral. Yes being more scared of a skin color is racist. Im Jewish and black and knowing that kids are taught to fear me because of my skin color is hurtful. And racist. I’m sorry but it is the truth. I understand you might no be racist, but that… Read more »

How?
Guest
How?

“As a white person, how can you tell me Chabad isn’t racist?”
What does that even mean???
He literally said that him and all the Jewish people he knows aren’t racist. He can say that because he knows himself and those people. It’s that simple. He knows because it’s about himself, not black people.

to "How?"
Guest
to "How?"

It’s like you literally didn’t read anything Shoshanah wrote. Which is reflective of how a lot of Lubavitchers don’t listen either to Jews of color. Just listen. JUST LISTEN.

I listened very carefully
Guest
I listened very carefully

He was talking about HIMSELF though

Thank you!
Guest
Thank you!

Thank you for being brave enough to write this! Racism in our community is real and we need to address it, even if it makes people uncomfortable. Thank you for pointing out how we need to teach our children to be more attuned to things like touching a black child’s hair — this is called a microagression (“a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority”). And to those claiming that “shvartze” isn’t derogatory — you’re being willfully obtuse. Looking forward… Read more »

Proof
Guest
Proof

Before making blank statements and generalizations, please tall me what you base your statements on? You claim racism in our community is real. Firstly can I ask which community you are referring to? COL is a worldwide platform so you can be referring to any community. I live in Crown Heights and there is no “racism in our community”. If you disagree, please elaborate, please provide some proof (and an anecdote that one person acted racist one time, doesn’t count to call a community racist) You can’t believe that people use the word “Shvartze” to merely mean African American. I… Read more »

Wake up
Guest
Wake up

Do you not hear countless black Jews or parents of black children asking for people not to use the word shvartze? Why isn’t that enough for you? Why must you insist on being right?

You misunderstood
Guest
You misunderstood

the point of the commenters was not them fighting to be able to still use the word “Shvartze” because to them it is not any more negative than “African American”. Their point is to clarify to the author and (and probably all non-Crown-Heightsers) what the word means to US so that you don’t judge us wrongly for having used that word (as the author has done). We are fine trying our best not to use the word anymore, but that’s not the point of all the commenters clarifying what “Shvartze” means to them. The point here was to clarify our… Read more »

Message to Esther
Guest
Message to Esther

Move to Crown Heights.
You’ll be accepted here (and I’m sure many other communities can say the same)

The Chabad Community Needs Better Education
Guest
The Chabad Community Needs Better Education

Reading through the vast amount of comments that have gaslighted, denied, and outright invalidated so many of the points Esther has expressed with this post has shown me just how lacking our community’s education about Black history and systemic racism in America is. As so many of us are based in CH and have a unique history with the Black community that has not always been pleasant or peaceful, we need a forum for healing and learning. We need an anti-racist education curriculum that is rooted in Torah values and in the values of our Rebbe. It is hard to… Read more »

We Don't Get to Decide
Guest
We Don't Get to Decide

We don’t get to decide what is or isn’t racist to the Black community. If we are committed to making a better world (and I, an FFB shliach, am), we have to listen, to really listen, to Black voices. I have heard from many Black Jews that they consider Shvartze racist. That should be enough for us. Instead of playing defense (“we’re not racist!”), let us decide, from now on, not to use the word. No one is saying we are racist, the Black community is asking us to stop using the word. Let’s step up to the plate and… Read more »

You misunderstood
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You misunderstood

None of the commenters were fighting to keep the word. We are all fine dropping it. The point was that you shouldn’t judge us as racist for innocently using the word in the past because TO US it doesn’t mean anything different than “African American” (see comment above with same title for further clarification of your misunderstanding)

Solidarity with You!
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Solidarity with You!

Well these comments are absolutely stomach turning! All of the gaslighting and blatant racism….ugh. I can’t even waste my time with most of them because I don’t want to be in such a mood going into Shabbos!

Anyway, as a Black Jewish woman raising 3 little brown Jewish boys, I feel your pain and I am with you. Just a bit to the north of you up in PA. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your experience. Now if only our Jewish brethren will take the time to truly listen…

Please clarify
Guest
Please clarify

Which comments here are racist so that we can learn to be more sensitive?
I read all the comments and I didn’t get the impression you got, so please enlighten me with specifics.

Please point out how many comments are racist?
Guest
Please point out how many comments are racist?

If we disagree with the generational of this article attacking the whole community then we are racist? no one here is promoting racism! some people believe that using certain words is not racist. They are saying its not racist. they are clearly telling you that they do not want to be racist. Now i know that you and many feel that it does have a bad connotation. its your right. but that doesn’t turn them into racist!I personalty am against using the word shvartze but also agaosnt using the word racist at someone who does use it! I’m sorry that… Read more »

Very simple
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Very simple

If you are racist : this post is there to ask to stop. The same way you treat white people, treat black people. Because they are all PEOPLE. Don’t assume things because of their color. If you aren’t: good job. Keep not being racist. If you wanna do even better : educate your children, your spouse, your students, the members of your shule, and when you hear someone saying something out of line, tell them off. No one is calling for violence. No one is calling everyone a racist. No one is saying you can’t get pissed at a black… Read more »

Good shabbos Esther. Listen to the Rebbe
Guest
Good shabbos Esther. Listen to the Rebbe

He was against using the word shvartze. he loved every jew. what some poeple do is their personal problem. keep strong!
have a good shabbos!!

Shvartze is not like the n word
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Shvartze is not like the n word

To prove that many of us that we don’t mean racism when we use the word “Shvartze” like we would mean if we used the n word, a simple proof is the comments here. Look how many times and how many people were comfortable spelling out the word Shvartze and not a SINGLE person was comfortable to spell out the n word. This is because it does NOT mean the same thing to us. If to YOU it means the same thing, I will definitely stop using it like I wouldn’t use the n word, but don’t judge us for… Read more »

Mazel Tov
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Mazel Tov

To all those claiming that there is no inherent racism in our communities, stop and think, would you marry a schvartze?

After you hesitate and stammer, you may begin to realize that even though you may not see anything wrong with it per se, there is a underlying stigma that you would prefer to avoid.

Will this ever go away? I doubt it. But just remember that the neshomoh has no color.

No connection
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No connection

Compatibility is key in marriage, but not key in acceptance.
We can accept and love black people and at the same time need to marry someone most similar to us. It is not a contradiction.

What on earth!!????
Guest
What on earth!!????

Would you marry a misnaged or a breslever chassid?
Oh you must be racist!!
Just because you won’t marry someone doesn’t mean you don’t respect them.
If you actually believe what you are writing then you are no better then the looters!!
You actually should steal and be violent because if that is what you think racism is it will never change.

Dear Esther, I see so many ignorant...
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Dear Esther, I see so many ignorant...

… and racist comments to your article. Please do not let it get you down! I am so happy you wrote this article, and I know it will resonate and inform some people, those who are willing to listen to your and your daughters experience, and become a better person.
Best to you and your beautiful family,
Liba K

Please point out to a racist comment?
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Please point out to a racist comment?

Stop generalizing.
That’s exactly what racist do!
People who disagree with you are right away deemed racist?

Ignorant yes, Racist no.
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Ignorant yes, Racist no.

Most comments (if not close to all) are not racist. I don’t use the word shavrtze but I don’t accuse someone who does it as racist. it all depends in the context. I still thing we shouldn’t use that word because it makes black people uncomfortable.

I'm offended
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I'm offended

I wrote a few comments here, and I don’t hate people because of the color of their skin

Dear Esther,
Guest
Dear Esther,

You started a discussion that clearly makes people uncomfortable. That is EXACTLY what we need right now. It is high time that we started having an uncomfortable dialogue. It is time to do some soul searching.
Esther, I am PROUD of you.

Logic?
Guest
Logic?

People are uncomfortable being categorically labelled “racist” by the author. That is not exactly what we need right now.
I have a question to you? Are YOU fine being called racist? Are you comfortable with that? No? Oh do you need some soul searching?
Of course, of course, you are Ms. Righteous and EVERYONE ELSE needs to do some soul searching…

Im stopping to use the word Shvartze. Thanks!
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Im stopping to use the word Shvartze. Thanks!

Although I didn’t like some of the components of this article I feel the pain and will switch my terminology. Not because it is inherently racist but because it makes many people uncomfortable.

Me too
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Me too

I also never meant “shvartze” different than the word “black”, but I will try my best to use the word “black” instead

Hair?!?!?
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Hair?!?!?

I have perfectly straight waist length silky hair. If I were to tell you how many times people told me it felt like a cloth you would be shocked. Or asked me if I straightened it. Kids SHOULD be curios!!!!!

Racist?
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Racist?

you say that being afraid of black people, which is completely justifiable, is racist. I wouldn’t say racist, because no one is saying that they are better than anyone else. But I guess you are consequently putting others (blacks) down, which is definitely not right. So I genuinely would like to know how to fix this dilemma? How can we stop hurting fellow Jewish people who are black, who feel insulted by these generalizations? Yet at the same time always be on the lookout for our possessions and even sometimes our lives when passing through these neighborhoods? trying to become… Read more »

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