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Jewish and Asian Community Bay Area Bonding Bad News for the Israel-Haters

KTVU News has a report about the Jewish and Asian communities coming together during these times of rising hate crimes against both communities.

“We started to make wonderful friendships,” Gregory said. “We started to have events together.” 

Gregory and his counterpart, Cally Wong, executive director of the API Council, decided that they wanted to expand their relationship. 

They also realized that Japantown in San Francisco is also home to Sherith Israel synagogue and that despite their proximity, members of these communities had never really interacted. 

So, Gregory and Wong decided to remedy this divide by organizing a trip for Asian and Jewish community members to visit New York City and Washington, DC.

For her part, Wong has really enjoyed knowing Jewish people on a deeper level. 

She had always had Jewish friends since attending Lowell High School in San Francisco. 

But she had never really understood what separated the Jewish nationality from the religion. So, she went on a trip to Israel last year where she learned that Jewish culture isn’t monolithic just as Asian culture isn’t.

Besides this being a feelgood story, I want to draw attention to some specific aspects.

The synagogue mentioned here is Sherith Israel. It is a reform synagogue in the Bay Area, which calls itself an “inclusive Jewish community open to people of all ages, races and abilities, welcoming interfaith families, people who are single, and LGBTQ+.” There does not seem to be anything overtly Zionist about its website and social media accounts but its name literally has “Israel” in it (it means “remnant of Israel”). This speaks volumes and is a further indication as to just how integral Israel is to Judaism.

The other thing to which I want to draw attention is how Cally Wong knew if she wanted to better understand Jewish nationality she had to go to Israel. And the trip taught her about the diversity of Jewish culture.

Remember, the ground zero of this story is the Bay Area, full of anti-Israel sentiment (remember this?). I am guessing many of KTVU News’ viewers are seething over this story, and have themselves been involved in some of the hate crimes against Jews that precipitated the events of the report.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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