In this week’s Jewish Week, “The Sotomayor Effect” talks about the relationship between the Hispanic and Jewish communities. For the piece, some Latinos, some Jews and of course, some Latino Jews were interviewed.
Some good soundbites:
“Relations between the two communities are good, I think maybe better than ever,” said Moises Perez, president and CEO of the local community group Allianza Dominicana.
Go Allianza Dominicana! The article also highlights the many ways that the Latino and Jewish communities have come together to support each other, keep dialogue open and to learn about each other.
Despite this, there are still some obstacles. Check out this next quote:
“A lot of the Jewish community’s experience with Latinos might be that my housekeeper or housecleaner or my nanny is Latino,” Norek said, explaining that Jews must try to get to know Hispanic community members beyond the relationship of employee and employer.
Often, when I go over to people’s homes for Shabbat, I am the only Latino woman they know who isn’t their housekeeper, cleaner or nanny! Usually, this is a little uncomfortable for everyone: me, the Jewish employer and the Latino employee. I usually get a wide-eyed look from the Latino employee who can’t understand why some Dominican woman is at the Shabbat table, they certainly can’t imagine that I’m a Jewish Latina who hangs out with their bosses on Shabbat.