Sen. Kamala Harris hugs Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden after introducing him at a campaign rally at Renaissance High School on March 09, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. by the Forward

Jews of color host virtual ‘sukkah hop’ for Biden campaign— the first of its kind

A group of Jews of color, in partnership with Jewish Americans For Biden, is hosting a virtual sukkah hop and “friendraising” event Wednesday evening ahead of the vice-presidential debate.

It is the first event of its kind featuring Jews of color, according to one of the organizers, Ginna Green, who is a political strategist and consultant.

“It is very clear to many people of color and certainly to me that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris represent the direction that we need to go in,” she said.

The attendees are going to be hopping sukkahs — virtually — through Madison, Wis.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

A typical sukkah hop involves children going from hut to hut to collect treats, but on Wednesday, attendees will hear speakers from inside their sukkahs around the country.

Green said the event’s proximity to the debate was unintentional.

The speakers will be talking about issues of immigration, racial justice, the Supreme Court and public health, said Green, who added that she is hoping to “show the diversity of the Jewish community for the campaign and for the electorate.”

Green also said many of the speakers have stories to share about vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, who is married to a Jew and who is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major political party.

There is no fundraising element to the event.

Green said the presence of a “small but vocal minority” of Jewish Trump supporters can make it difficult for Jews of color and progressive Jews to feel comfortable in Jewish spaces. She said that is “a challenge because this election is less about partisanship and less about party and more about morality and humanity.”

About 70% of Jews vote Democrat, but Trump’s vocal support of Israel has drawn Jewish support, and the Orthodox enclaves of the United States skew conservative.

Jewish Americans for Biden, the Jewish coalition within Biden’s campaign, has stressed the candidate’s solidarity with Israel and efforts to combat antisemitism.

This year has represented a reckoning for many legacy Jewish organizations with primarily white leadership and membership. As the rest of the country has grappled with issues of racial representation and justice, so has the Jewish community — demographers estimate that Jews of color make up between 6% and 15% of the American Jewish population, but many are unaffiliated and report feeling alienated by mainstream Jewish institutions.

People of color practicing many faiths have long been the targets of voter suppression efforts and discriminatory voting laws.

Author

Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon

Molly Boigon is an investigative reporter at the Forward. Contact her at boigon@forward.com or follow her on Twitter @MollyBoigon .

Jews of color host virtual sukkah hop for Biden-Harris

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