Book Birthdays celebrate one year of a book’s life in tweets, reviews, ratings, and more! Today we’re saying Happy First Birthday to JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews by Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt (Nebraska, 2016). Helen Kiyong Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Whitman College. Her husband Noah Samuel Leavitt is an associate dean of students at Whitman College and has served as the advocacy director for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs.
About the Book:
In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children.
JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American. Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt’s book explores the larger social dimensions of intermarriages to explain how these particular unions reflect not only the identity of married individuals but also the communities to which they belong. Using in-depth interviews with couples and the children of Jewish American and Asian American marriages, Kim and Leavitt’s research sheds much-needed light on the everyday lives of these partnerships and how their children negotiate their own identities in the twenty-first century.
“Whether you are Asian, Jewish, both or neither, JewAsian is a thoughtful, engaging, and relevant read given that American society is in the midst of unprecedented religious and ethnic changes. The questions of culture, belonging, heritage, and identity that are at the core of this book ultimately touch all of our lives and we can learn a great deal from the voices of the people you meet within its covers.” —The International Examiner
“[The authors] have, with this slim book, launched an important topic for further research and scholarly inquiry… Scholars of contemporary American society as well as American Jewish and Asian American historians ought to pay attention to JewAsian.” —Ethnic and Racial Studies Journal
“A precious and indespensable contribution.” —H-Judaic
“JewAsian is an excellent introduction to what will hopefully be the first of many works looking at the nature of specific types of intermarriage.” —The Reporter Group
Interviews and mentions:
- The Forward (December 13, 2015)
- New York Times (June 9, 2016)
- My Jewish Learning (June 208, 2016)
- Religion News Service (July 8, 2016)
- The Algemeiner (July 10, 2016)
- The Jewish Chronicle (August 25, 2016)
- The Jewish Week (October 6, 2016)
- Times of Israel (October 13, 2016)
On the Blog:
- Infographic: Facts and Points from JewAsian
- Lessons for Father’s Day
- Our Books (reblogged from Books Combined)
JewAsian on Facebook:
Kim and Leavitt’s research was inspired largely by their children, Aryeh and Talia.