Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Is #JewishPrivilege a thing? Not so much, say Jews on Twitter

Family members lost to concentration camps. Last names swapped for less conspicuously Jewish ones. Pennies thrown on the school bus.

These are a few of the anecdotes Jews shared on Twitter after the hashtag #JewishPrivilege began trending over the weekend.

While the hashtag has existed for years, far-right anti-Semitic accounts resurfaced it on Sunday with posts denying the Holocaust, accusing Jews of masterminding the slave trade, and stating that they “shape shift to white” at whim.

But by Sunday afternoon, Jewish activists and celebrities had co-opted the hashtag, using it as an ironic appendage to keenly felt stories about personal experiences with anti-Semitism. Comedian Sarah Silverman led the charge with a post that recalled being pelted with pennies by classmates.

David Simon, the writer behind “The Wire” and “The Plot Against America,” also chimed in, recalling the emotional anguish he experienced when his father was taken hostage in the 1977 Hanafi Siege.

Many others shared their families’ Holocaust history or instances of anti-Semitism they’d experienced in everyday American life.

Others made a distinction between “Jewish privilege” conspiracy theories peddled by extremist groups and the white privilege from which many Jews benefit.

Meanwhile, some users pointed out how the experiences of Jews of color complicate any attempt to label Jews as “privileged.” Since Jews are far from a monolithic bloc, it’s impossible to generalize about the privilege we enjoy in some contexts or the discrimination we experience in others.

Debate over Jewish privilege also made its way into the resignation of New York Times Opinion Columnist Bari Weiss.

_Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at [email protected]._

A rabbi shared a photo of his car after an anti-Semitic attack.

A rabbi shared a photo of his car after an anti-Semitic attack. Image by screenshot/Twitter

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.