Is the Jewish population growing or shrinking? It could be doing either, depending which survey you’re looking at. The one thing everyone agrees on is this: It’s changing.
Be’chol Lashon is a group dedicated to “promoting the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the Jewish people.” According to them, 20% of American Jews are not of European descent–this includes Jews who are African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, Sephardic, Mizrahi, or mixed-race. That population totaled 1.2 million people in 2010, and its number is rising proportionally much faster than the overall population of American Jews.
Teaming up with Be’chol Lashon, the black Jewish rapper Y-Love released his latest single, “This Is Unity,” with a companion music video that highlights the changes in Jewish population. It’s not Y-Love’s first time writing ethnographic-informed pop music; many of the lyrics to his song “State of the Nation,” from 2008’s This Is Babylon, were taken directly from the National Jewish Population Survey. But “Unity”‘s fresh beat and energetic, celebratory lyrics are a reason to embrace this change, and a reason to dance.
October 11, 2011