Racial Diversity in the Jewish Community


I find that themed days and months give us an opportunity to put our attention on groups and issues that we always want to be thinking about and addressing but may not have yet. In line with our values as a Jewish organization, the Y is committed to being an anti-racist institution, and we are continually trying to take steps internally and in the community to reflect that commitment. It’s a process, however, and we have plenty of work to do.

Be’chol Lashon was founded in 2000 as a response to a “Study of Racial & Ethnic Diversity of the American Jewish Community,” which found that 20% of America’s 6 million Jews or 1,200,000 are African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, mixed race, Sephardic, and Mizrahi.

For Black History Month, we wanted to share information about an organization called Be’chol Lashon (Hebrew for “in every language), which was founded 20 years ago to help in “raising awareness about the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience.” The Jewish community has been slow to fully embrace our diversity, and we are grateful to Be’chol Lashon and others for their guidance and resources in broadening our awareness, providing education, and offering tools to action to combat racism and increase inclusion both inside the Jewish community and in the larger community.

We invite you to learn more about Be’chol Lashon and to explore their resources for Black History Month. We also welcome your thoughts and ideas for how to continue to move our community forward on these important issues.