Are Black Jews The Next Evangelicals?

Last week's religious calendar was a busy one. Easter was celebrated at the White House with the annual Easter Egg Roll, a presidential tradition dating back more than a century. But there was also the hosting of the first White House seder. Among the religiously uninformed, the feast raised an interesting question: Are there black Jews?


The answer is yes, but Jewish sects are divided over black Jews' Jewishness. Consider Philadelphia’s Temple Beth’El, founded by Louise Dailey, the daughter of a Baptist preacher. Among the Jewish orthodoxy, Jews like Dailey, who was never ordained by an acknowledged branch of Judaism, aren’t considered “Jewish enough."

Despite the claims against them from the mainline orthodoxy, the black Jewish diaspora made the headlines last year after a conference in Paris, “A Black Synagogue in Paris: What About Black Jews in the U.S., Israel, and England?” Since the meeting, the propularity of predominantly black Jewish congregations has seen a formidable expansion.

The person perhaps most responsible for this added exposure is Rabbi Capers Funnye, the chief figure at Chicago’s Beth Shalom B’nei Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, one of the country’s largest black Jewish congregations. Acknowledging Martin Luther King as a personal hero, Funnye, the first lady’s cousin, enjoys unique distinction as Obama’s rabbi. That title is earning him invitations to speak at a number of white congregations, giving this minority within a minority not just notoriety, but respect.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
popular
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less