Black Judaism

March 16, 2008 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

The New York Times ran a piece today on Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. Funnye is the first African American admitted to the Chicago board of rabbis. I’ve followed Funnye and his congregation, Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation for several years. A Chicago television show did a piece on the congregation several years ago.

Last November at the Hallelu Atlanta event I got to see and hear Joshua Nelson, ‘The Prince of Kosher Gospel Music.’ Nelson brought the house down! All 4,500 attendees were dancing in the aisles to his brand of Jewish gospel music. After the concert I heard more than a few people asking why our synagogue music isn’t as exciting and inspiring.

Black Jews have been around for, well forever! Some posit that our Biblical ancestors were dark skinned. Makes sense to me. It’s unfortunate that the Jewish community has shown a level of bias akin to racial descrimination. The Jewish world is more than Ashkenazim. We can learn a lot from our black brothers and sisters. They are as much a part of k’lal Yisrael as we are!

Entry filed under: Judaism, Social Justice. Tags: , , .

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