During the Civil Rights movement Blacks and Jews worked together to transform the country. Jews made up two-thirds of the whites who travelled south to join the Freedom Rides and helped register Blacks to vote. The murder of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney—two young Jews and a young Black civil rights worker—symbolized the historic bonds between these two groups. But these days, as both anti-Semitism and racism are on the rise, Blacks and Jews are often on opposite sides, clashing over Israel, affirmative action and anti-Semitic statements made by leaders of Black Lives Matter. Can this alliance be saved? And what do the tensions between Blacks and Jews mean for American politics, and for the future—and safety—of both groups.
Jonathan Kaufman is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and editor whose book, BROKEN ALLIANCE: THE TURBULENT TIMES BETWEEN BLACKS AND JEWS IN AMERICA won the National Jewish Book Award and the American Jewish Committee “Present Tense” award. Kaufman has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, served as a consultant on “Eyes on the Prize” television series, and spoken at Black churches in Boston, Chicago and Atlanta. He is currently a professor and director of the School of Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston where he teaches the history of Black-Jewish relations to a new generation of students.