The likelihood of raising a half black child as yeshivish

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  • #1378821

    LeibGershon
    Participant

    And just what do you think that might be?

    My wife and I are both Converts. I’m married to a Chinese woman.

    My wife doesn’t like to do much talking. Or much of anything else. It’s a fair statement to say that if she was any less active, she might slip into a coma.

    She is not exactly an obstacle, but I would like her to be a little bit more active to make connections with the women in the community but her English is too poor to do that.

    I’m thinking that when the child goes to school that will help us to make friends and meet people.

    The other option would be to try to raise him as modern Orthodox, but that is not our first choice because they do not have the matchmaking system in place for marriage purposes that ultra-orthodox people do. It is also been my experience that of the people that I know who are divorced something like 90% of them are modern Orthodox even though they are no more than 30% of our community.

    What have other people heard of the experience of half black children who have tried to be raised as Yeshivish? I know that there is some level of hostility, but the level of hostility is not nearly as much as I thought that it might be. My convert and Rabbi at said that probably about 50% of people would dislike me and the other 50% would be either in different or have maybe a positive attitude toward me. It has not been that 50% of people here disliked me. But then, children can be cruel.

    #1378854

    yekke2
    Participant

    What have other people heard of the experience of half black children who have tried to be raised as Yeshivish?

    There was a child in a similar situation – but not half black, he was black – who applied to a Chareidi school in London. The school accepted him immediately. When a parent of another child in the school complained that he didn’t want this child in the school, the school threatened to kick out their child, not the black kid.

    To the best of my knowledge, he is very happy in the school.

    #1378853

    yekke2
    Participant

    Welcome!!

    The other option would be to try to raise him as modern Orthodox, but that is not our first choice because they do not have the matchmaking system in place for marriage purposes that ultra-orthodox people do.

    The choice of how you want your son to grow – Modern orthodox or ultra-orthodox – should not be based on a matchmaking system. Conveniences and practicalities pale in the bigger picture when discussing something as large as the Yiddishkeit of your children – and their generations to come. You should sit and think – seriously think – about your level of commitment to Avoidas Hashem, and whether you are able to commit to ultra orthodox. If you can, אשריך וטוב לך.

    It is also been my experience that of the people that I know who are divorced something like 90% of them are modern Orthodox even though they are no more than 30% of our community.

    Just to echo my previous point – this shouldn’t be the reason to become Ultra Orthodox over Modern Orthodox. It is more likely to be an indication of other issues, however, which should be weighed into your decision.

    #1378865

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    I am confused…………………..
    LeibGershon and wife are converts
    Wife is Chinese…………………………………..
    Is LeibGershon White or Black?
    Is the Child 1/2 Caucasian and 1/2 Chinese or 1/2 Black and 1/2 Chinese?
    I use the term ‘Black’ not African-American as I don’t know that the family is in the US.

    Mrs. CTL and I have a daughter adopted at birth in China. She was raised frum, went to day school OOT then Sem, then college and Law school (family tradition). Married a white male who was educated in the Yeshiva system then college/law school…marriage to our daughter and part of family firm.
    No problem being accepted.

    #1378858

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    JMO in some communities Yichus, meaning your ancestry is very important and highly admired. You are best avoiding those communities that highly value yichus.

    CHabad is one community where yichus is less emphasized and IMO you should look into there. There are quite a number of POC’s in the chabad communitiy

    #1378859

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I’m aware of 2 “half black” (Your description) girls on a basis yackov on brooklyn. They started with their classmates in preschool and are growing up with them.
    Their parerents are wonderful people and friendly with many other parents on the class. The girls are growing up like their BY classmates and following the same trajectory.

    From what I read, it seems your wife will have a more difficult time than the kids.

    #1378862

    akuperma
    Participant

    I would suspect the “frumer” the better. The less frum a Jew is, the more he/she sees being Jewish as a function of ethnicity, whereas the more frum a Jew is, the more he/she sees being Jewish as a function of Torah and Mitsvos. In blunt terms, for someone for whom Yiddishkeit is about Shabbos and Kashrus, looking “non-Jewish” is less of an issue. For someone from whom being Jewish is about bagels, country clubs, political correctness and support left wing social issues, looking “jewish” is part of the definition.

    #1378863

    Sadigurarebbe
    Participant

    I am in complete agreement with Yekke2. Picking your hashkafah and derech in life should be primarily for your expression of your connection to HKBH.

    #1378887

    LeibGershon
    Participant

    1. The family is in the United States.
    2. The mother is Han Chinese, from the mainland of China.
    3. The father is black American. 83% black, 17% White.
    4. I am the father, and I am writing this post.
    5. It happens that I had both of the sons tested. I think that the racial breakdown is something like the oldest son is 42% black, 48% Han Chinese and the remainder White. The youngest son is 44% black and 48% Han Chinese and the remainder White. It’s interesting that the younger son actually looks more like a Chinese baby.

    #1378997

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The other place to look at is Lincoln Square Synangouge in Manhattan. There are some Jews of color there as well.

    You really need to go to a place that already have JOC attending

    #1379041

    yitzchokm
    Participant

    As others have mentioned, it seems that your wife has to be on board before you make this type of decisions. As others have also mentioned, the divorce rates should not be a factor in this decision.

    Being a convert has a lot of drawbacks and difficulties, this is one of them.
    Do you have a rabbi that you’re close with? Someone who knows the community? Did you convert locally or out of the country?

    #1379043

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @leibgershon
    Thanks for your reply.
    Our daughter is 100% Han
    There were more than a few like her in her schools over the years.

    BUT, you have presented a whole new scenario. Most who read the original post assumed 1/2 Black, 1/2 white. That’s why I asked the questions.
    Your child will have more issues than a 1/2 white child. The small percentage of white in the DNA is of interest to you, but won’t matter to those meeting and interacting with your child…initial reactions are based on what meets the eyes.

    Big city society is far more accepting than small town society of interracial people. European society much more accepting than Americans.

    #1379063

    Joseph
    Participant

    “I think that the racial breakdown is something like the oldest son is 42% black, 48% Han Chinese and the remainder White. The youngest son is 44% black and 48% Han Chinese and the remainder White.”

    Umm, how are two siblings from the same parents of different racial stock?

    #1379070

    funnybone
    Participant

    Once people get to know your children it wont make a difference. What will be important is that you are on, the same page as your children. People will be more likely to make playdates for their children with families that they know.

    #1379088

    yytz
    Participant

    Welcome to the CR, and hatzlacha in deciding which schools to send your kids to and which communities to identify with!

    In reality, there are Jews of Color who have successfully integrated within every stream of Yiddishkeit.

    I know a half black-half white young man raised as Yeshivish who married a white Jewish woman and is doing fine. I know a black ger who married a white woman; he considers himself Centrist Orthodox but sends their kids to the yeshivish school for practical reasons, which is working out fine.

    I would choose what schools and communities just overall fit in with what you want for yourself and your family, in terms of hashkafah, halacha, community, etc.

    I guess divorce and marriage rates, if there really are differences that can be documented, could be one consideration, as well as the rate of people going OTD — these are potential reasons for choosing one derech over the other, since the proof is in the pudding, but I wouldn’t try to fit into a mold you disagree with fundamentally just for the sake of the kids.

    Many people (especially but not limited to gerim and BTs) don’t neatly fit in a single category and are somewhere in between, or even are a mix of MO, Yeshivish, Chassidic, etc. Incidentally, today (18 Tishrei) is Rebbe Nachman’s yahrzeit, and many gerim and BTs have gravitated toward his teachings, whether or not they identify as full-fledged Breslover chassidim.

    If I were you I would investigate different schools and shuls and see how friendly the teachers, students, shul members, etc. are, or otherwise see which ones you like, and just choose the ones that seem right. Some communities are just more friendly, and some are probably more accepting to Jews of Color or gerim or their children. Out-of-town places are often a mix between MO and non-MO Jews, with a good number of BTs and gerim, but I’m sure that’s true of many places in NY and Israel as well.

    #1379096

    Joseph
    Participant

    CTL, why do you think big city society (i.e. Brooklyn) is far more accepting than small town society (i.e. CT) of interracial people?

    #1379097

    akuperma
    Participant

    Re: Yichus

    Gerim (converts) are “בן אברהם אבינו”. Can’t get better yichus than that.

    Though as I said before, frum Jews (no matter how much they see yichus matters) place greater value on how frum a person is. Plenty of Reform Jews have great yichus, but that counts for nothing among bnei-Torah.

    #1379109

    eishsheli
    Participant

    I grew up with a boy in my class whose mother was also an Asian convert he was a regular guy not treated any different he went to all top yeshivas brisk,bmg ,etc … no need to worry

    #1379103

    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Umm, how are two siblings from the same parents of different racial stock?”

    Children from the same parents are not genetically identical.

    For a good start look up Meiosis on Wikipedia it comes complete with diagrams showing four gametes all with different genetic makeup stemming from one original cell

    #1379111

    yid18
    Participant

    This is a very interesting post. Leib, welcome. I give you a lot of credit for what you are doing. It seems to me, Chabad would be a good place for you. They have Yiden of many different backgrounds, and are open minded.
    They are always looking out to be mekarev Yiden. Regarding your wife, once you are settled in a place, you will meet the Rabbi of the shul. Ask to meet the Rebetzin and introduce your wife to her. She will help her meet other ladies and become part of the community. If she doesn’t speak English well, look for classes, in your community, where they teach English. This is very important for her. It will help her make friends. When a person is ready to smile and be friendly, they can go a long way. Keep us posted of your progress. Hatzlacha Rabbah.

    #1379124

    Joseph
    Participant

    ubiq, what’s genetics have to do with the question? If one grandparent is European, one Asian and two African, then the child(ren) are 25% Caucasian, 25% Asian and 50% African. You don’t need a DNA test to figure that out.

    #1379125

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @joseph
    Big cities have a much greater mix of people than small towns. It has been common for many years to see interracial couples on the streets of NY and no one pays attention. In small towns it is unusual and people gawk.

    #1379137

    🎀770Chabad🎀
    Participant

    Chabad has a lot of converts who are dark skinned ….
    and also Asian and other …
    This is a nice way to put it don’t mean to be racist

    #1379141

    LeibGershon
    Participant

    It is not quite as simple as that. I use the DNA testing Family Tree DNA.

    The DNA inheritance is not quite linear. You see that both of my sons have the same mother in the same father but one of them is 42% black and the other is 44% black, according to Family Tree DNA. Oddly enough, the one that has more black blood actually looks like any other Han Chinese baby. The one who has slightly more Chinese blood actually looks like he has None at all.

    I do know what I’m interested in for my sons to be able to marry, and that would be a Jewish woman with the highest percentage possible of Ashkenazi blood.

    #1379143

    LeibGershon
    Participant

    The thing is that trying to go to habad would be defeating the purpose of what I’m asking here. The point is to have my kids married into a Yeshivish family.

    Also, having my kids married to another black person is out of the question. It would defeat the purpose of having them Merion to the Jewish bloodline to have them marry somebody who is not actually part of the Jewish bloodline. So, you can guess that that would also include Falashim.

    Ashkenazim are the First Choice Far and Away. Maybe Sephardim or mixed ashkenazim would be a second choice.

    #1379156

    🎀770Chabad🎀
    Participant

    What I was saying before

    #1379160

    It might be worth your while to try writing posts with full sentences and relatively appropriate grammar and spelling.

    #1379165

    Matan1
    Participant

    Leib, Judaism isn’t about bloodlines. It’s about Torah and Mitzvos. The best thing you could want for your sons is to marry girls who are dedicated to the Jewish way of life.

    Also, why are Ashkenazim a first choice far and away?

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
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