Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ashkenazi Privilege Checklist

This checklist was sent to me and was developed by members of the Jewish Multiracial Network online discussion group, 2006–2009. You are welcome to distribute this checklist, use it in workshops, and add to it.

Please check all that apply to you.

___ I can walk into my temple and feel that others do not see me as outsider.
___ I can walk into my temple and feel that others do not see me as exotic.
___ I can walk into my temple and feel that my children are seen as Jews.
___ I can walk into temple with my family and not worry that they will be treated unkindly.
___ I can enjoy music at my temple that reflects the tunes, prayers, and cultural roots of my specific Jewish heritage.
___ I can easily find greeting cards and books with images of Jews who look like me.
___ I can easily find Jewish books and toys for my children with images of Jews that look like them.
___ I am not singled out to speak about and as a representative of an “exotic” Jewish subgroup.
___ When I go to Jewish bookstores or restaurants, I am not seen as an outsider.
___ I find my experiences and images like mine in Jewish newspapers and magazines.
___ My rabbi never questions that I am Jewish.
___ When I tell other members of my synagogue that I feel marginalized, they are immediately and appropriately responsive.
___ There are other children at the religious school who look like my child.
___ My child’s authenticity as a Jew is never questioned by adults or children based on his/her skin color.
___ People never say to me, "But you don't look Jewish," either seriously or as though it was funny.
___ I do not worry about being seen or treated as a member of the janitorial staff at a synagogue or when attending a Jewish event.
___ I am never asked “how” I am Jewish at dating events or on Jewish dating websites.
___ I can arrange to be in the company of Jews of my heritage most of the time.
___ When attempting to join a synagogue or Jewish organization, I am sure that my ethnic background will not be held against me.
___ I can ask synagogues and Jewish organizations to include images and cultural traditions from my background without being seen as a nuisance.
___ I can enroll in a Jewish day school, yeshiva, and historically Jewish college and find Jewish students and professors with my racial or ethnic background.
___ People of color do not question why I am Jewish.
___ I can send my child to Hebrew School/Young Judea camp without him/her being subjected to racist slurs from other children.
___ I am not discriminated against in the aliyah process as a Jew of my particular ethnicity.
___ I know my ethnic background will not be held against me in being called to read the Torah.


OrthoEbonyJewess said...

Interesting list...It should be published in a Jewish newspaper widely read by Ashkenazim.

Anonymous said...


kisarita said...

"Ashkenazi privilege checklist" is a misnomer, as most sephardim could check off the items on this list as easily as ashkenazim.

While it's true that sephardim have in marginalized in Israel as well as in the Haredi community, it's discrimination of a different genre than that experienced by Jews of color.

Jews of color often attempt to cast themselves along with the Sephardim but I do not believe that is accurate nor helpful.