Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Conversion, Ethnicity, Race, Minorities
Abstract: Converting to Judaism is possible, but not easy. What might be perceived as being particularly uncommon is the experience of a Black person going through the process of conversion to Judaism in France. Yet Black converts to Judaism are becoming increasingly visible, even though they have not been integrated as such in the self-perception of the Jewish community of France, let alone in the wider French society. One organisation established within the Jewish community of France is currently playing an important part in bringing French Black Jews out of obscurity — the Fraternité Judéo-Noire (Black-Jewish Brotherhood, hereafter FJN). Joining forces to form an organisation seems to have been the best option for these proselytes, whose ethnic profile is not in keeping with the traditional mapping of the French Jewish community as made up of Ashkenazim and Sephardim. This chapter will focus on French Black Jewish identity as experienced and related by African, West Indian, American or biracial converts. What factors have driven them to embrace Judaism at a time when the French media exhibit a marked tendency to expose the Black French as the new anti-Semites?
Translated Title: African and Antillais Jews in the Paris region
Abstract: The contemporary evolution of Judaism is marked by a dynamic diaspora whose transnational nature may be perceived in the variety of origins of Jewish believers. The diversity of Jewish communities includes an African, Caribbean, and even African American component, whose actual or alleged Jewish identity has led scholars to investigate into the intersection of race and religion in contemporary Judaism. The present study aims to contribute in the observation of this phenomenon, by focusing on the intersection of religion and ethnicity within Black Judaism in particular black Jews in France? After four years among blacks Jews in Paris area. How does one live as a Black Jew? How do these believers define themselves as Jews and Blacks? How is the notion of Jewishness implemented among them? How do they express their relation to the global Jewish world, and to both their religious communities and the wider French society?
Black Judaism in France and the United States: An Example of the Intersection Between Religion and Race/Ethnicity
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Jewish Community, Conversion, Ethnicity
Abstract: Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the action of Black Jewish organizations (the Fédération Internationale des Juifs noirs and Am-I-Farafina) in France has made visible the existence of a category of French Jews which had so far been little-known and hardly studied. They are native Jews or converts hailing from African countries, the West Indies, or the USA, and offer a wealth of new elements for observers and scholars of Jewish identity by introducing the question of interethnic relations in this frame. How do they perceive themselves as Black and Jewish, and what is their place in the Jewish community in France? The present study addresses these two questions over the past six years, focusing both on expressions of community membership and commitment, and on the religious and personal experiences of the Black Jews of France.