Last week, President Trump extended Title VI protections to Jews – alongside other students of race, color or national origin – on campuses that receive federal funding. This kicked off what the media called “a firestorm.” It was actually two controversies for the price of one. First, do Title VI rules restrict freedom of speech. Ironically, this became a problem only when Trump protected Jews, even though it’s a 1964 ruling. Second, are Jews like the other protected classes? How so? What are Jews, exactly?
Are we a race, a nation, an ethnic group, an extended family, a religion, or just a bunch of folks who like bagels and lox? All of these fit some Jews, but none fit all Jews, so what is going on? Even Jews debate it all the time. Continue reading “What is a Jew?”