Latino-Jewish Relations Can Contribute to the Strengthening of American Democracy

Collaborative relationships among minority populations are critical for deepening understanding, building coalitions for joint advocacy, and strengthening American democracy. Yet a vital partnership spanning decades between American Jews and Latinos is encountering challenges, indicating that longstanding constructive cooperation may not pass on easily from generation to generation.

A new American Jewish Committee (AJC) study of Latino leaders, ages 18-40, reveals ambivalence toward Jews, their place in American society and the degree of discrimination they endure. While 87% of Latinos interviewed say racial, ethnic or religious discrimination is a significant problem in the United States, and 75% report that they themselves have experienced discrimination or know of someone who has, only 6% cite Jews as the group currently experiencing “the most serious/most urgent level” of discrimination. Moreover, 37% say discrimination targeting American Jews has improved, while 14% say it is worse than ever and 35% say it has not changed.

The views expressed by the 125 emerging Latino political, business, media, academic leaders in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York provide valuable insights into the thinking of young Latinos, how they may approach relations with American Jews, and what can be done to repair and strengthen the relationship.

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