Is Jew a religion or race?

Hannah Herzog
St. Louis, MO

Guess what? It’s both (sort of). You may be of “Jewish” ethnicity without being of Jewish faith (non practicing), or you may be of Jewish faith, but may be from someplace other than Europe or Israel.

Please remember that Jews come in all colors, and of all nationalities. Those descendants of European or Middle Eastern Jews are typically referred to as having “Jewish” ethnicity, which to many is an important aspect of their families’ identities and common heritage. Identifying as Jewish, even as a non-practicing Jew, is critical to understanding my family’s social, political, cultural and spiritual history–and to acknowledging the violence, oppression, and hatred faced by so many of our families historically.


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