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What’s It Like to be a Jewish Latino? NPR’s Latino USA Podcast had the Fascinating Details

In case you didn’t know, Jewish Latinos exist and they exist in pretty large numbers. NPR’s Latino USA NPR released a podcast that paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to grow up in the Jewish Latino community.

You’ve already met a few Latinos with Jewish roots. Like William Levy.

“Levy is because that’s my mom’s last name. And my grandfather, he was Jewish,” the Cuban heartthrob told ET. “So that’s where it comes from. It’s a Jewish last name. I have some Jewish in my family.”

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Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has made several references to her Jewish roots.

Puerto Ricans in the White House! #kennedycenterhonors #RitaMorenoTribute

A photo posted by Gina Rodriguez (@hereisgina) on

“I have Jewish ancestors. My sister converted to Judaism,” Gina told The Hollywood Reporter. “I have Christians and Catholics and Buddhists in my family. I have multiracial, multiethnic relationships.”

READ: Rapper, Daredevil & Nanny: What You Didn’t Know about Gina Rodriguez

And Don Francisco has never made any secret to the fact he is a practicing Jew.

#antoniovodanovic #donfrancisco #doncorleone #teleton2015 #FaithNoMore #fnm4ever

A photo posted by faithnomore4ever (@faithnomore4ever) on

“Among Spanish speakers in the United States he is an icon,” Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College told The Times of Israel. “In my view, he couldn’t really come to that type of persona were he not Jewish.”

READ: ‘Sábado Gigante’ was on the Air for 53 Years, Why Did it End in 2015?

How to Navigate the World When You’re Jewish and Latino

The podcast examines Jewish Latino identity with 5 different stories told by the people who are living them. You’ll learn now Judaism made its way across the ocean to Latin America and eventually to the Latino-American community in the US. You can hear the tale of how one family fled Nazi persecution in Europe by going to Brazil and eventually settling in Colombia. Then, the explosion of crime in Colombia during the ’80s drove the same family to the United States of America. Latino USA also explores the Judeo-Spanish language known as “Ladino” which blends of Spanish and Yiddish, creating a language that functions as a form of communication for Jewish Latinos.

Listen to the full podcast:

Credit: ¡Ay Vey! / Latino USA NPR

Now you know a little more about how diverse the Latino population is. Share this story and keep the learning going!

A Week After AOC Compared Detention Centers To Concentration Camps, Jewish Activists Arrested For Protesting ICE

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A Week After AOC Compared Detention Centers To Concentration Camps, Jewish Activists Arrested For Protesting ICE

Gili Getz / Facebook

Migrant detention centers have been in the news a lot lately for the inhumane and downright dangerous conditions that migrants are facing inside of them.

From reports of expired food, drinking from toilets, frigid temperatures, solitary confinement – the conditions inside these detention centers are deplorable.

But recently, it seems that there’s been even more news coverage of politicians and activists who are calling out the migrant centers for what they really are: 21st Century concentration camps.

Thirty-six Jewish activists were arrested Sunday as they protested, along with hundreds of others, in front of an ICE immigrant prison in New Jersey.

Credit: @TeenVogue

Some 36 Jewish protesters were arrested on Sunday outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Jersey as they were protesting the conditions under which undocumented immigrants are being held inside. 

More than a 100 gathered outside the facility under the slogan “Never Again,” calling to abolish ICE and for the closure of migrant detention facilities, which they deemed “concentration camps,” a term that has sparked much controversy after Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used it last week to describe the centers.

The crowd chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, racist ICE has got to go” and held signs reading “Never again means close the camps.”

The crowd chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, racist ICE has got to go” and held signs reading “Never again means close the camps” and displaying the group’s name, according to video of the event on Twitter.

“As Jews, we cannot sit and watch as ICE terrorizes immigrant families, separating children from their parents and detaining them in deplorable conditions,” read a Facebook post by Never Again Action. “As Jews, we know that #NeverAgainIsNow.”

The group’s name comes from the slogan “Never again,” which has historically been used in relation to Holocaust commemoration. Jewish groups on the left have compared ICE’s treatment of undocumented immigrants to abuses under the Nazis and other totalitarian regimes, while other Jewish groups have said that comparisons of ICE to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust are inappropriate.

Donations have poured in for the Jewish group to help with legal costs associated with the arrests.

Credit: @LexieB2

The protest group, who worked alongside fellow immigrant rights organization Movimiento Cosecha, originally sought $36,000 in funds so they could organize nationwide protests against ICE and to “remind the world that Never Again means Never Again for Anyone.”

Posting an update on their GoFundMe page, Never Again Action said they are continuing to seek donations in order to help cover the legal costs for those arrested at the New Jersey protest and for further action materials.

“A group of young Jews, Rabbis, and people from all over the country disrupted business as usual at the for-profit, privately owned Elizabeth Contract Detention Center in New Jersey. Now we need yours and our community’s support for their legal fees,” the group wrote.

AOC tweeted in support of the protesters, saying that these actions ‘hold enormous power to change our country.’

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in support of the protesters, writing that such actions “hold enormous power to change our country.”

Brad Lander, a Democratic Jewish New York City councilman, also attended the protest.

While this Jewish Latina also came out in full support of the protesters.

Credit: @gabebergado / Twitter

“Elected officials are spending more time arguing over the language used to describe these conditions than addressing the crisis itself,” the group said in a press release before the protest.

“They claim to speak for us Jews, but they don’t. We refuse to allow politicians to use our trauma as a distraction from the mass atrocities being perpetrated by ICE and CBP at the border and across the country,” they added.

And many Jews took to Twitter to defend the comparison between Trump’s migrant prisons and Nazi Germany’s concentration camps.

Credit: @rach_small / Twitter

Conditions in immigrant detention centers across the country have made headlines lately as images of children sleeping on concrete floors with aluminum blanket have caused a national uproar. 

A report released last week by the office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security showed that ICE’s detention conditions are “unsafe and unhealthy” with expired food, segregation practices, failure to provide recreation outside detainee housing units, and moldy bathrooms.

In addition, the report noted that some detainees do not receive “appropriate clothing and hygiene items to ensure they could properly care for themselves.”

READ: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

Latino Border Patrol Agent And Army Veteran Hailed As Heroes In Poway Synagogue Shooting In San Diego

Things That Matter

Latino Border Patrol Agent And Army Veteran Hailed As Heroes In Poway Synagogue Shooting In San Diego

Associated Press / YouTube

When Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales when to the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, they went to worship. When they left, the two men, an army veteran and off-duty Border Patrol agent, were hailed as heroes for confronting a lone gunman. Here’s what we know about the two men who shortened the killer’s rampage of terror on the last day of Passover.

One person died and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad Congregation in southern California.

Credit: @JoaquinCastrotx / Twitter

On the last day of Passover, a lone gunman entered the house of worship and opened fire. The news of another mass shooting broke the peaceful week of celebration in the Jewish faith.

According to the LA Times, the FBI was notified about a manifesto from the suspect but the shooting happened before the FBI could finish their investigation.

In the chaos, two men are being called heroes for their quick action that forced the shooter to flee.

Army veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty Border Patrol officer Jonathan Morales were at the temple worshipping when the shooter entered. While Morales has been more withdrawn from the media, Stewart has shared their story.

The two men ran to the gunfire when they first heard the loud bangs echoing through the temple.

Credit: @IBEW569 / Twitter

Stewart, an Iraq war veteran, was the first person to confront the shooter. Stewart told journalists that he ran to the gunfire and started to scream at the shooter. Stewart’s actions forced the shooter to flee the temple and try to escape.

The Rabbi asked Morales to come to the service armed because we live in a time where gun violence is commonplace in society.

Credit: @philwillon / Twitter

According to USA Today, Stewart chased the shooter out of the temple and that’s when Morales told Stewart to duck. Morales, who works for Border Patrol, was armed and opened fire on the shooter’s car trying to disable it.

“Morales recently discovered his Jewish roots. He would travel three and a half hours from [the California town of] El Centro to pray with us at our shul,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told media at a Sunday press conference, according to The Times of Israel. “He felt this was his house of worship. And many times I said, ‘Jonathan, you work for the border patrol. Please arm yourself when you are here; we never know when we will need it.’”

The shooting at Poway is another example of the kind of gun violence American’s face on a daily basis.

Credit: @nataliemorales / Twitter

Whether at school, work, concert, or a place of worship, Americans live with a constant understanding that any day can be the day they are involved in a mass shooting.

“Hate and violence against anyone because of their race, ethnicity or religion has no place in our society,” senior Customs and Border Protection official John Sanders said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Our thoughts and prayer are with the victims, their families, and their community as they recover from this tragic event.

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