“Being Jewish and Latino are central parts of who I am. Growing up in South Florida, my family Shabbat dinners included conversations in Spanish while eating challah, matzo ball soup, arroz con pollo and plátanitos. I constantly lived a Jewish-Latino experience with my family. However, as a proud member of both of these communities, I sometimes felt that I didn’t completely fit in with either of them outside of my home life. In Jewish spaces, I felt the absence of Latinidad and those who were born to immigrant parents, like myself. In Latinx spaces, I felt different because I was Jewish.
“When I enrolled at Princeton University, I realized we needed a space to celebrate and have conversations about intersectionality. That led me to create J-Lats, a Hillel group that connects students of both Jewish and Latinx heritage. J-Lats helped me recognize just how interconnected these two identities have been my entire life. I was not alone. There were many other Princeton J-Lats who found value in the creation of a space to openly express their intersectional identity. Through our Shabbat Con Sabor with over 300 guests, celebration of Jewish Latinidad and affinity space discussions about the different J-Lat experiences, I’ve come to understand that I will never be ‘just Jewish’ or ‘just Latino.’ I will always be a proud J-Lat. Call it mishpacha or call it familia, we are all one family.” — Abraham Wasserstein, Princeton University