So here’s the paradox: Anti-Semitism and Jewish privilege are, and have long been, two sides of the same coin. Even now, I feel it keenly.
On the one hand, Jews as a category are thus far shielded from the state violence that a lot of other groups are experiencing. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not seeking us out as a group; we are not being barred from the military or being singled out in a travel ban. Although of course there are Jews of all levels of economic security in this country, American Jews as a collective do have a lot more social and cultural capital than many other groups, and we are not as vulnerable as other communities under attack. The reasons are various; a big one, though, is that many American Jews’ families have been established here for a century or more and, over that time, Ashkenazi Jews were able to assimilate into the broader culture and “become white.”