Professor Dollinger Comments on Comparisons between Synagogues, Black Churches

Monday, January 04, 2021

THE FORWARD -- Marc Dollinger, a Jewish Studies professor at San Francisco State University, said that Jews have historically been able to separate their political lives from their religious lives because of the strong Jewish institutions that exist outside of the synagogue and the ability for white Jews to more seamlessly engage in secular political groups.

That hasn’t always been possible for Black Americans. During the 1950s and 1960s, for example, the NAACP was banned in several southern states, leaving Black churches as one of the only forums for political organizing.

“It’s a privilege to be able to compartmentalize parts of your life,” Dollinger said. “In the Black Church it all comes together: one’s religion, one’s race, one’s social life.”