I’m a veteran Jewish multicultural educator. I have a book and music video that are tools for constructive and insightful discussion, in response to Whoopi’s controversial comments about Jews being white, and by extension, about the Holocaust being a white-on-white crime. I am available to facilitate conversations behind the scenes in front of the camera, and with a live audience.
My work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC News, and other top media, and I have presented at Harvard University, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other leading institutes. I pioneered the Jewish multicultural movement from 1990-2010, facilitating trainings for Jewish educators worldwide. See details about my work and conversation tools below.
I see conflict and wounding as opportunities for healing and transformation. I’m grateful that someone as prominent as Whoopi made the remarks she did. Her words reflect the sentiments of many people worldwide, and are based on misrepresentation of and miseducation about Jews. Speaking those words got them out in the open, where we can discuss them, whereas simply not voicing such an opinion would keep it festering, unchecked.
Among other considerations to explore, Jewish leaders are responsible for creating the impression that Jews are white – by routinely, and relentlessly, excluding Jews of color, despite the Jewish presence in Asia and Africa predating the Jewish presence in Central and Eastern Europe by over 3,000 years. So why are Jewish leaders now attacking Whoopi, for reflecting back what they have led the masses to believe?
The Flying Camel is the first anthology by Jews of color. It has been taught throughout the Ivy League and at universities worldwide, and it has been endorsed by prominent activists and educators, such as civil rights leader Angela Y. Davis. The 2022 edition was just released two weeks ago and features celebrity Yemenite-Israeli band A-Wa.
“I Love My JewFro” playfully calls out
the racism of Jewish body shaming. Lyrics connect the dots between
the Middle Eastern ethnicity of the Jewish people and the Jewish features that are commonly denigrated. They also
call into question the common Jewish practices of nose jobs and hair straightening. The music incorporates an
ancient Jewish song from Iraq, reflecting my identity.
I am an indigenous Middle Eastern Jew, a direct descendent of
the Yehudim (Jews) – the people of Yehuda (Judah) the southern kingdom of ancient Israel. They
were conquered and exiled by the Babylonians, 2,600 years ago. My ancestors stayed on that land, as it changed hands
over the years and became modern Iraq. My family was part of the flood of Jewish refugees from Baghdad in the
mid-20th century, forced to flee in the wake of the Farhud – the Iraqi pro-Nazi massacre of Jews in 1941, which you
can read about in my Huffington
To schedule an interview, email me at khazzoom [at] khazzoom [dot] com.