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I'm of Jewish descent, but do not claim it


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For starters: I'm Black American...

 

My grandfather's grandma was an Ashkenazi Jewish woman from Lithuania. I started an ancestry journey and discovered this after so many people kept asking me, "What are you?" for the longest time. The question always threw me off because I never identified and saw myself as anything other than Black. 

 

But even in NYC, where diversity is nothing new...people would question my origins. At first I just thought it was because I have wavy hair. But when people began pointing out other things like my bone structure, undertones of my skin, etc. I was like OK maybe there is something in my family's past that I don't know about.

 

After research and DNA testing I discovered my Ashkenazi ancestry - and it actually makes a lot of sense because Ashkenazi Jews are genetically MIddle Eastern...and I look a LOT like the East African population who are usually mixed with African and MIddle East.  (especially my hair ... it's like a clone!)

 

And my grandfather looks VERY Middle Eastern - I always wondered why I got an "Arabic" vibe from his appearance but couldn't make sense of it. Now I know. 

 

But, since my family is far removed from our Jewish heritage ..instead of saying I am part Jewish, I'd prefer to say I am part Middle Eastern/North African. I have no connections to the Jewish community so I wanna be very careful about claiming something that far removed. But, at least I have an explanation of why I look the way I do - and my grandpa as well. WHen people ask now, I will simply say I am part MIddle Eastern/North African, and ONLY if they continue to push for more information will I explain my Jewish roots and go into why I do not claim Jewish connections.

 

 

 

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tipsyturv

Hello and welcome to the site!

Got a few points to make about your post:

1. If you're great great grandmother was Jewish and she's the ONLY Jewish ancestor you have, that's not much Jewish lineage to put on your resume...lol
Most AfroAmericans have more White or Native American ancestry than that.

2. Most Askenazi Jews are NOT of Middle Eastern origin but of Germanic or European origin.

Middle Eastern Jews are known as Sephardim.

3. Saying you're part Middle Eastern/North African would be a mistake and add to the confusion because those are GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS...not races.  So you can have no "part" of them in you.  Either you're from there or your not.
You can be part Arab, part African, part Caucasian, ect.....but not part "Middle Eastern".

I'm from Michigan....doesn't mean any children I have will be "part Michigander".

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14 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

tipsyturv

Hello and welcome to the site!

Got a few points to make about your post:

1. If you're great great grandmother was Jewish and she's the ONLY Jewish ancestor you have, that's not much Jewish lineage to put on your resume...lol
Most AfroAmericans have more White or Native American ancestry than that.

2. Most Askenazi Jews are NOT of Middle Eastern origin but of Germanic or European origin.

Middle Eastern Jews are known as Sephardim.

3. Saying you're part Middle Eastern/North African would be a mistake and add to the confusion because those are GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS...not races.  So you can have no "part" of them in you.  Either you're from there or your not.
You can be part Arab, part African, part Caucasian, ect.....but not part "Middle Eastern".

I'm from Michigan....doesn't mean any children I have will be "part Michigander".

Hey!

 

Responding to each of your points:

 

1. You're right .. I feel it's pretty far removed so as I stated in my original post - that's why I don't feel super comfortable claiming it. 

But, I look just like my great great grandmother because my grandpa looks like her - and I look like him. LOL So it at least explains the "other" people see in me. I am always asked  "What are you?"

And yes, Afro-Americans have European ancestry in general, but it's usually NorthWestern European ancestry from slavery . I also have this of course, but I do NOT acknowledge it all for obvious reasons. Besides, my fully Irish ancestor is like 6 generations away from me. My Ashkenazi ancestor is actually the closest non-Black ancestor in my tree.

 

2. You're kinda wrong here. Ashkenazi Jews are of deeper MIddle Eastern heritage. An Ashkenazi Jew themselves will tell you that. Read this article written by an actual Ashkenazi. 

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ashkenazi-jews-are-middle-eastern/

Yes, my great great grandma is from Lithuania which is in Europe but deeper ancestral roots lie in the middle east/north africa. DNA tests I have taken actually break it down to the MENA area. 

 

3. Yes,  saying I am part Middle Eastern would add another question mark for someone like YOU, who is obviously very much into this stuff and pretty well versed. But for the average, everyday person - trust me, it suffices. If you read the article I shared with you in #2 written by an actual Ashkenazi, you'll see that someone labeling the author as "Middle Eastern" due to his appearance is what inspired the entire blog post he made. LOL  He told the person that he's Jewish and they responded "But you look Middle Eastern". 

 

Also, I actually look like populations of people who are mixed African + Middle Eastern (Ethiopians, Somali). 

My hair , especially, is exactly the same. 

Seeing them was the FIRST time I saw people who look exactly like me. 

 

I'm often mistaken for Trinidadian (people think I am Black and South Asian Indian).

Or sometimes people assume I'm just INdian. But the "Indian" theyre seeing is MIddle Eastern/North African. lol I'm sure of it.

And my grandfather looks very Arabic. Uncovering his Ashkenazi roots made complete sense of his look. 

 

 

 

 

 

stock-photo-tigray-ethiopia-afar-tribe-man-with-curly-hair-and-facial-tattoos-535463248.jpg

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tipsyturv

 


But, I look just like my great great grandmother because my grandpa looks like her - and I look like him. LOL So it at least explains the "other" people see in me. I am always asked  "What are you?"

 

Genetics is an interesting study because a person of mixed race ancestry can have all of the phenotypical traits of one race EXCEPT the skin color....be only the skin color of the other race....and come out looking like an entirely different race than both!

They can be mixed with African and Caucasian and come out with a straight hair, thin nose/mouth, and dark brown skin..looking like an Indian or East African.

People who aren't aware of this may mistake a typical AfroAmerican Mulatto admixture with an Ethiopian or even East Indian.

 

 

 


And yes, Afro-Americans have European ancestry in general, but it's usually NorthWestern European ancestry from slavery . I also have this of course, but I do NOT acknowledge it all for obvious reasons. Besides, my fully Irish ancestor is like 6 generations away from me. My Ashkenazi ancestor is actually the closest non-Black ancestor in my tree.

 

This is true.
Also we have a lot of Native American ancestry.  
For some, their Native American ancestry is more pronounced than their Caucasian ancestry.

 

 

 

 

2. You're kinda wrong here. Ashkenazi Jews are of deeper MIddle Eastern heritage. An Ashkenazi Jew themselves will tell you that. Read this article written by an actual Ashkenazi. 

 

The way modern Judaic ethnicity works is if your MOTHER was a Jew then YOU are considered Jewish..whehther you practice it or not.
So what you have today among many Ashkenzai Jews are Caucasians with TRACE amounts of the original Middle Easter (Sephardic) Jewish ancestry but diluted with a predominant European ancestry.

 

Maybe a woman who was a full blood Hebrew back in 900 AD mated with a Caucasian from France and had children...and her daughters (technically Jewish though only half Hebrew by race) had daughters who did the same and have children with Caucasian men...so on and so forth.
This is typically how most Ashkenazi Jews came into being.
European Caucasians with trace amounts of actual Hebrew Middle Eastern ancestry.

 

Another example to use recently is how so many blonde haired blue eyed Caucasians in the U.S. have Italian last names and go around calling themselves "proud Italians".  
But if you go on the East Coast and look at the Italian communities of New York or Boston or Philly....most of them are dark haired, dark eyed, and have tans and more African features than other Caucasians and certainly look different than most of the so-called "Italians" in the rest of this nation.  Because they are truer to their roots and aren't as diluted.

 

Sometimes the names and culture lasts where the genetics don't.

 


Like you said, to people who are well versed in the subject...it's very interesting and the more detail...the better.

You can read hours and hours of detail on a particular aspect of a person's heritage and ancestry and wouldn't come out one bit confused but more enlightened.

 

But with MOST people....
Giving them more details and being more specific about this cultural trait and that racial trait seems to cause even MORE confusion in them...lol.

This ancestral DNA thing is an example of this because you have people running around calling themselves  3% Irish and 7% Russian not realizing that these are nationalities that can't be passed along in the genes.

 

The older I get the more I understand why the very educated often kept certain knowledge in elite circles.

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13 minutes ago, Pioneer1 said:


tipsyturv

 


But, I look just like my great great grandmother because my grandpa looks like her - and I look like him. LOL So it at least explains the "other" people see in me. I am always asked  "What are you?"

 

Genetics is an interesting study because a person of mixed race ancestry can have all of the phenotypical traits of one race EXCEPT the skin color....be only the skin color of the other race....and come out looking like an entirely different race than both!

They can be mixed with African and Caucasian and come out with a straight hair, thin nose/mouth, and dark brown skin..looking like an Indian or East African.

People who aren't aware of this may mistake a typical AfroAmerican Mulatto admixture with an Ethiopian or even East Indian.

 

 

 


And yes, Afro-Americans have European ancestry in general, but it's usually NorthWestern European ancestry from slavery . I also have this of course, but I do NOT acknowledge it all for obvious reasons. Besides, my fully Irish ancestor is like 6 generations away from me. My Ashkenazi ancestor is actually the closest non-Black ancestor in my tree.

 

This is true.
Also we have a lot of Native American ancestry.  
For some, their Native American ancestry is more pronounced than their Caucasian ancestry.

 

 

 

 

2. You're kinda wrong here. Ashkenazi Jews are of deeper MIddle Eastern heritage. An Ashkenazi Jew themselves will tell you that. Read this article written by an actual Ashkenazi. 

 

The way modern Judaic ethnicity works is if your MOTHER was a Jew then YOU are considered Jewish..whehther you practice it or not.
So what you have today among many Ashkenzai Jews are Caucasians with TRACE amounts of the original Middle Easter (Sephardic) Jewish ancestry but diluted with a predominant European ancestry.

 

Maybe a woman who was a full blood Hebrew back in 900 AD mated with a Caucasian from France and had children...and her daughters (technically Jewish though only half Hebrew by race) had daughters who did the same and have children with Caucasian men...so on and so forth.
This is typically how most Ashkenazi Jews came into being.
European Caucasians with trace amounts of actual Hebrew Middle Eastern ancestry.

 

Another example to use recently is how so many blonde haired blue eyed Caucasians in the U.S. have Italian last names and go around calling themselves "proud Italians".  
But if you go on the East Coast and look at the Italian communities of New York or Boston or Philly....most of them are dark haired, dark eyed, and have tans and more African features than other Caucasians and certainly look different than most of the so-called "Italians" in the rest of this nation.  Because they are truer to their roots and aren't as diluted.

 

Sometimes the names and culture lasts where the genetics don't.

 


Like you said, to people who are well versed in the subject...it's very interesting and the more detail...the better.

You can read hours and hours of detail on a particular aspect of a person's heritage and ancestry and wouldn't come out one bit confused but more enlightened.

 

But with MOST people....
Giving the more details and being more specific about this cultural trait and that racial trait seems to cause even MORE confusion in them...lol.

This ancestral DNA thing is an example of this because you have people running around calling themselves  3% Irish and 7% Russian not realizing that these are nationalities that can't be passed along in the genes.

 

The older I get the more I understand why the very educated often kept certain knowledge in elite circles.

here is a pic of one of my grandpa's brothers. 

220668080_2951447931764110_8558994031263515991_n-2.jpg

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Id also defnitely say that many Jewish people are clearly more of Mediterranean-ish heritage than just White. 

 

THe fact tht many of them can grow real afros shows that they are not "White" people IMO

 

They're clearly more closely physically similar to populations like Italians or Spaniards, or even North Africans.


Which goes back to how strong the genetic ties to that region are, even though are physically located in countries within Eastern/Western Europe.

 

the Ashkenazi genetic makeup is SO unique and distinctive that it has its own category on DNA tests.

if someone is Ashkenazi, the test will pick it up as Ashkenazi - not Russian or German, etc.

And that's worth considering as well.

 

 

 

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A-photograph-of-an-overweight-male-sporting-his-coiled-hair-as-a-Jewfro-hairstyle-with-a-long-curly-haircut.jpg

jewfro-hairstyles-medium-messy-334x500.jpg

jewfro-curly-hairstyle-AJ.jpg

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tipsyturv

 

 

Id also defnitely say that many Jewish people are clearly more of Mediterranean-ish heritage than just White. 
 
The fact tht many of them can grow real afros shows that they are not "White" people IMO

 
Interesting observation....
However I'd be careful using ONE or TWO phenotypical traits alone to take someone OUT of a racial category since race is so much more complex than just a hand full of physical characteristics.

 

For example there are a lot of Black people with thin noses or slant Asian looking eyes..does THAT take them out of the "Black" racial category?

A lot of Black people with straight or wavy hair as in the pictures you provided above....does THAT take them out of the "Black" racial category?

 

If not, why should curly or even kinky hair take a person with White skin and other Caucasian features except for their hair out of the "White" racial category?

 

For me a person's race is a result of a PREDOMINANCE of phenotypical features...not just a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They're clearly more closely physically similar to populations like Italians or Spaniards, or even North Africans.

 

This is true.
Many Ashkenazi's ancestors CAME THROUGH Italy and Spain on their way to northern and central Europe.

But as I've said before, they have far more European ancestry than Middle Eastern.
Which is why I classify them as Caucasians racially..despite trace amounts of Hebrew ancestry.


Infact, most Italians have more African and Arab ancestry coursing through their veins than the average Ashkenazi Jew.

 


 

John Turturro — Charlie Rose


John Turturro

 

 


 

image.jpeg.164ce663414cddd400be761f8b4c7361.jpeg

 

Nicholas Turturro


Famous Italian American actors

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

tipsyturv

 

 

Id also defnitely say that many Jewish people are clearly more of Mediterranean-ish heritage than just White. 
 
The fact tht many of them can grow real afros shows that they are not "White" people IMO

 
Interesting observation....
However I'd be careful using ONE or TWO phenotypical traits alone to take someone OUT of a racial category since race is so much more complex than just a hand full of physical characteristics.

 

For example there are a lot of Black people with thin noses or slant Asian looking eyes..does THAT take them out of the "Black" racial category?

A lot of Black people with straight or wavy hair as in the pictures you provided above....does THAT take them out of the "Black" racial category?

 

If not, why should curly or even kinky hair take a person with White skin and other Caucasian features except for their hair out of the "White" racial category?

 

For me a person's race is a result of a PREDOMINANCE of phenotypical features...not just a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They're clearly more closely physically similar to populations like Italians or Spaniards, or even North Africans.

 

This is true.
Many Ashkenazi's ancestors CAME THROUGH Italy and Spain on their way to northern and central Europe.

But as I've said before, they have far more European ancestry than Middle Eastern.
Which is why I classify them as Caucasians racially..despite trace amounts of Hebrew ancestry.


Infact, most Italians have more African and Arab ancestry coursing through their veins than the average Ashkenazi Jew.

 


 

John Turturro — Charlie Rose


John Turturro

 

 


 

image.jpeg.164ce663414cddd400be761f8b4c7361.jpeg

 

Nicholas Turturro


Famous Italian American actors

 

 

 

great points

 

here's a pic of my grandpa , who is Jewish through his maternal grandmother.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Pioneer1 said:



That's what I was talking about....lol

lol!! why did u say that though? i dont get it

is something wrong

 

he was 1/4th jewish and i think hed actually qualify as "jewish" unlike me since his mother's mother was fully jewish. (matrillineal line)

he also has a bit of irish but that was from slavery. he was born with blue-ish eyes.

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tipsyturv

Brother Irish is a NATIONALITY....not a race. 
It has no genetic component that allows you to have a little bit of it in you.

That's like a person is 1/8 Catholic or 50% American.

Either you were born in Ireland or you weren't.

Now you can have a little bit of Caucasian in you or a little bit of African or a little Native American.
That's highly possible.
But unless somebody gave you some dirt from Ireland and you consumed some of it....you don't have a little bit of Irish in you.

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7 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:


tipsyturv

Brother Irish is a NATIONALITY....not a race. 
It has no genetic component that allows you to have a little bit of it in you.

That's like a person is 1/8 Catholic or 50% American.

Either you were born in Ireland or you weren't.

Now you can have a little bit of Caucasian in you or a little bit of African or a little Native American.
That's highly possible.
But unless somebody gave you some dirt from Ireland and you consumed some of it....you don't have a little bit of Irish in you.

Yes I know what you mean. Caucasian from Ireland. lol Whatever you wanna call it , it's from slavery and not something I take enough pride in to make sure I am labeling correctly.

 

My roommate/buddy posted me on this site before - I think you were one of the people in the topic/thread.

He invited me to join here.

He posted my pic and explained my racial makeup but really didn't have my full story.

 

You guessed I was mixed with Dravadian? You remember my face.

 

242289168_2995268700715366_7158334606564602166_n-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, Pioneer1 said:

tipsyturv

Yeah...lol....I remember WELL

lollll I totally agree with the point you made about african and european mixtures sometimes making a faux "indian" look

 

there's an artist name Toni Romiti...I'd say she looks very Indian but she's a mixture of African American and White ( Italian )

 

 

maxresdefault-38.jpg

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