BOOKS FOR ADULTS

Know of a book addressing the diversity of the Jewish community? Please contact us with the information at info@jewishmultiracialnetwork.org.

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons
by Jane Lazarre
A Jewish woman married to an African American non-Jewish man, describes her experience of raising her sons and her encounter with the reality of racism in the U.S.

Black, Jewish and Interracial: It’s Not the Color of Your Skin, But the Race of Your Kin, and Other Myths of Identity
by Katya Bibel Azoulay
Examines how adult children of interracial parents (Jewish and Black) think about personal identity. Blends historical, theoretical and personal perspectives to explore possibilities and meanings when Black and Jewish merge.

Black, White and Jewish
by Rebecca Walker
A memoir written by the daughter of an African American mother and an Ashkenazi Jewish father who was born during the civil rights era of the 1960s.

Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk about Race and Identity
by Lise Funderbergs
Stories of biracial adults, written by a biracial Jewish woman (Ashkenazi Jewish and African American).

Bridge Across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory
by Vera Schwarcz
Explores the meanings of cultural memory within the two longest surviving civilizations on earth.

Chicken Soup with Chopsticks
by Jack Botwinik
Depicts the theological challenges a Jew is confronted with in dating a Chinese woman, and how this experience leads them both to become Torah-observant.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families
by Myra Alperson
A resource guide for interracial families of all kinds, written by a single Jewish mother whose adopted daughter was born in China.

Half a Heart
by Rosellen Brown
A novel about a white Jewish woman who loses custody of her biracial baby. A reunion occurs when the daughter reaches adulthood.

In Every Tongue: The Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People
by Diane Tobin, Gary Tobin, and Scott Rubin
In Every Tongue is a groundbreaking look at the changing faces of the Jewish people and implications for the world Jewish community.

Is That Your Child?: Mothers Talk about Rearing Biracial Children
by Marion Kilson and Florence Ladd
‘Is That Your Child?’ is a question that countless mothers of biracial children encounter whether they are African American or European American, rearing children today or a generation ago, living in the city or in the suburbs, are upper middle class or lower middle class. Social scientists Marion Kilson and Florence Ladd probe mothers’ responses to this query and other challenges that mothers of biracial children encounter. Organized into four chapters, the book begins with Kilson and Ladd’s initial interview of one another, continues with an overview of the challenges and rewards of raising biracial children gleaned from their interviews with other mothers, presents profiles of mothers highlighting distinctive individual experiences of biracial parenting, and concludes with suggestions of positive biracial parenting strategies. This book makes a unique contribution to the growing body of literature by and about biracial Americans. Although in the past twenty years biracial Americans like Rebecca Walker, June Cross, and James McBride have written of their person experiences and scholars like Kathleen Korgen, Maria Root, and Ruth Frankenberg have explored aspects of the biracial experience, none has focused on the experiences of a heterogeneous set of black and white mothers of different generations and socioeconomic circumstances as Kilson and Ladd do.

Jews in Old China: Studies by Chinese Scholars
by Sidney Shapiro (Editor, Translator, Compiler)
Shapiro and his colleagues detail their analysis to reveal that Jews were not only present in Kaifeng, known as Bianjing in the Song Dynasty, but that they lived in large numbers in other Chinese cities as well.

Lovesong: Becoming a Jew
by Julius Lester
This autobiographical chronicle of Julius Lester’s Jewish journey is a meaningful addition to the body of scholarship on conversion. It also offers opportunity for reflections on Black/Jewish relations in the U.S.

Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries: The Jewish Experience in the Chinese Empire
by Michael Pollack
“Mandarins, Jews, and Missionaries’ reads, in many ways, like an adventure story, crisscrossing geographic locations and transcending ages. It is altogether engrossing. Pollack has sniffed out every available clue on the Chinese Jews: his research is solid and well documented. Both in terms of relating the history of the Chinese Jews and tracing their impact on the Western mind, there is no better work available.” – Anson Laytner, “Judaism”

Oreo
by Fran Ross
This uproariously funny satire about relations between African Americans and Jews is as fresh and outrageous today as when it was first published in 1974. Born to a Jewish father and black mother who divorce before she is two, Oreo grows up in Philadelphia with her maternal grandparents while her mother tours with a theatrical troupe. Soon after puberty, Oreo heads for New York with a pack on her back to search for her father; but in the big city she discovers that there are dozens of Sam Schwartzes in the phone book, and Oreo’s mission turns into a wickedly humorous picaresque quest. The ambitious and playful narrative challenges accepted notions of race, ethnicity, culture, and even the novelistic form itself.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother
by Jana Wolff
A White Jewish adoptive mother describes the experience of adopting a child of color.

Shades of Community and Conflict: Biracial Adults of African-American and Jewish-American Heritages
by Josylyn C. Segal
This study of eighteen adults of African-American and Jewish-American heritage explores how biracial subjects of two minority parents negotiates mixed race heritage and identity in a society that maintains a hostile attitude toward interracial unions.

Waiting for Lucinda: One Family’s Journey Through International Adoption
by Amy Shore
Written with passion, honesty, humor, and love, Jewish author Amy Shore describes the ups and downs of adopting a child from Guatemala. From hope to heartache, anger and determination, the will to believe when all else fails, bureaucratic red tape, an interesting cast of international characters, and the agony of the wait – come along on this incredible, heartwarming journey to meet Lucinda.

Under One Canopy: Readings in Jewish Diversity
by Karen Primack
Featuring the works of over fifty poets, essayists, storytellers, and songwriters. A tribute to Jewish diversity by Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, African and Asian writers.

The Jews of China, Volume One: Historical and Comparative Perspectives
by Jonathan Goldstein (Editor, Introduction)
An interdisciplinary effort by Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Western sinologists and Judaic studies specialists, this book scrutinizes patterns of migration, acculturation, assimilation, and economic activity of successive waves of Jewish arrivals in China from approximately 1100 to 1949.

The Jews of Africa and Asia
by Tudor Parfitt
Contemporary anti-Semitism and other pressures; with an appendix on combating anti-Semitism by Milton Ellerin. Helps to understand the commonalities between the oppression of African Jews and the oppression of Asian Jews. Also provides statistics from 1980’s on numbers of Jews in shrinking North African and other communities.

The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage
by Loolwa Khazzoom (Editor)
Newly released personal and political essays by over a dozen Jewish women, edited by an American woman of Iraqi Jewish descent.

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother
by James McBride
The story of James McBride’s mother, a Polish Jew and daughter of a rabbi, who moved to New York city, and met and married a black man (McBride’s father). The book is a testament to one woman’s true heart, solid values, and indomitable will.

The Beautiful People of the Book: A Tribute to Ethiopian Jews in Israel
by Colette Berman and Yosef Miller
A coffee table book that places beautiful photography in historical and cultural context with extended captions and narratives.

Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption
by Barbara Katz Rothman
A path-breaking study by a noted sociologist of the immediate and continuing impact of race and adoption in our society. Katz Rothman draws on her own experience as a white mother of an adopted black child.