You Don’t Look Jewish

Jeffrey Kass
The Judean People’s Front
5 min readSep 9, 2021

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We won’t achieve true justice for anyone until Jews are included in social justice

A Jewish man praying in Jerusalem in 1925

Long before I learned the art of calm and grace, I lost my cool when my blonde, Aryan-looking German law school classmate Mark from small-town Ohio met me and immediately remarked you don’t look Jewish.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I snapped back. “Do Swedish Jews look Jewish? Do Ethiopian Jews look Jewish? What about Moroccan Jews?” I continued in disgust.

Not my finest hour.

The odd thing is, I probably do look somewhat European Jewish, although recent DNA results shared my Algerian, Moroccan, Syrian and Iraqi parts.

Reminds me of that joke when someone asks a Jewish man if he knows another Jewish guy in town.

“Why? Do all Jews have to know each other,” the insulted Jewish man responded.

“Sorry, I just thought… “

“Actually, we’re cousins.”

Mark’s comment was in 1992, but things haven’t changed much since then, at least when it comes to how people think of Jews.

The thing is, Jews aren’t a race. They are an ethnoreligious group whose members come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.

When the Jewish nation was formed some 3,000 years ago, many different people joined this new tribe. But it wasn’t until Jews were exiled from their homeland that Jews spread far and wide. To Spain, Portugal, North Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, India, and yes, Europe. Other Jews were exported as slaves by the Romans. Some Jews remained in Israel as well.

But the exile of Jews from Israel is when modern-day Judaism was expanded and developed. When the Jews did not have their land-based culture, they created a non–land-based system to maintain their ethnic tribal connection without being there. Essentially to take their ethnicity and practices in a suitcase so they could preserve their heritage. Traditions and rules were formed to preserve the Jews as a nation without an actual national home. Little did the genius rabbis of that time know how good of a job they did. We’re still here.

The reason all of this is so important is because there’s this bizarre bias, especially among the social justice left, that…

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Jeffrey Kass
The Judean People’s Front

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad