The goal of this project is to highlight the diversity present in the Chicago area Jewish community.
I am interviewing a diverse group of Jewish people from around the Chicago area about their experiences with Judaism and Jewish identity. I have decided to focus on people whose genders are marginalized in traditional Judaism (women, transgender people, non-binary people, and more) in order to give a voice to those whose stories aren't often told.
I have found that so much of the internalized discrimination within the Jewish community, as well as external discrimination targeted at the Jewish community, comes from an idea that all Jewish people look and experience life in one way, which is completely to be completely false. For example, a study done at Brandeis University shows that over 10% of American Jews are people of color. This number increases within major metropolitan areas such as Chicago. In addition, around 10% of Jews identify as LGBTQ+. Jewish identity is not defined by one experience or look, and it is so important to learn about other people’s experiences to make our community a more accepting, inclusive, and equitable place.