In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children.
JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American. Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt’s book explores the larger social dimensions of intermarriages to explain how these particular unions reflect not only the identity of married individuals but also the communities to which they belong. Using in-depth interviews with couples and the children of Jewish American and Asian American marriages, Kim and Leavitt’s research sheds much-needed light on the everyday lives of these partnerships and how their children negotiate their own identities in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Helen Kiyong Kim is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Whitman College. Her work has been published in the Journal of Jewish Identities and Forward and has been anthologized in several publications. Noah Samuel Leavitt is an associate dean of students at Whitman College and has served as the advocacy director for the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications including Contemporary Jewry, Slate, the International Herald Tribune, and Forward.
“A work with a strong academic underpinning, JewAsian is at the same time accessible to all readers interested in how Jewish-Asian couples and their families fit into broader contexts of multiracial identity and religiosity in the United States, as well as of intermarriage historically.”—Times of Israel
“A precious and indispensable contribution. . . . Notions [such as identity or authenticity] and the frameworks that have shaped our understandings of them, are carefully and thoughtfully investigated in a volume that will be useful not only to academics but also to individuals looking for deeper insights into how these subjects play out in everyday American life.”—Tahneer Oksman, H-Judaic
"Scholars of contemporary American society as well as American Jewish and Asian American historians ought to pay attention to JewAsian."—Hasia R. Diner, Ethnic and Racial Studies
"Whether you are Asian, Jewish, both or neither, JewAsian is a thoughtful, engaging, and relevant read given that American society is in the midst of unprecedented religious and ethnic changes."—Laura Simeon, International Examiner
“Essential reading for scholars of intermarriage, inter-partnered couples and families, Jewish outreach professionals, and all students of race, ethnicity, and religion. . . . The alternate narrative Kim and Leavitt offer blasts open the door to new ways of understanding Jewish American, Asian American, and JewAsian identities, challenging dominant racial, ethnic, and interfaith marriage discourses in the process.”—Keren R. McGinity, author of Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood