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(Parents, now would probably be a good time to stop by your kids summer camps. After all, I’d seen her profile and saw that she had checked “Reform,” just as she saw that I had checked “Orthodox.” So, clearly, a relationship between us was not something that was going to work out.However, we both had resources that would aid the other in their specific branch of diversity work, and we were more than willing to share the wealth.
(I’m not exactly sure why my profile was deleted, and I never got an answer from the site’s admins asking.) And that’s how and why JOCFlock was born.
And with that realization, I figured there were probably people in the same or worse position than I was, so there needed to be some kind of structure for all of us. Some JOCs don’t even put up their profile picture to avoid rude comments from site users and moderators alike.
And there are horror stories: The kinds where caramel-skinned Jews get told by matchmakers that they’re “too pretty” to marry Jews who are Black; and the kinds when African-American Jews in their twenties are set up with developmentally challenged 40-year olds. Because people didn’t think she’d mind due to her circumstances. I myself had an interesting multi-email, multi-hour exchange questioning my Jewish identity when I joined online-dating site Frumster (now JWed) out of curiosity.
JOCFlock was launched in 2010 on Tu B’Av—by me—because there was (and still is) something very wrong about how Jews of color are treated once they reach this particular point of the Jewish life cycle, and it desperately needed a solution.
Case in point, consider Ayanna Nahmias’s biracial Jewish son who doesn’t want to date Jewish girls because of the bullying and rejection he’s experienced since Hebrew school, and a lack of being able to see himself reflected in his Jewish community.