Professor Dollinger Parses, Challenges Black-Jewish Narrative

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

J. (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Last week at Temple Sinai in Oakland, Marc Dollinger launched into a discussion of his book Black Power, Jewish Politics by saying he was about to “violate historical memory.”

By that, the San Francisco State Jewish Studies professor meant ripping apart the way American Jews remember their involvement in the civil rights struggle.

“The story [we tell ourselves] is, white Jews helped the blacks, then the blacks didn’t want us, so we turned outside the United States and the civil rights struggle to focus on the plight of Soviet Jews,” he told some 70 attendees.

Unfortunately, he said, that’s not the way things actually happened — and he wrote his book to offer a different narrative: his own.