(A professor once mentioned to me that her synagogue had Asian women “sprouting up” all over the congregation.) People usually cite the most popular examples, e.g., Mark Zuckerberg and “his Asian wife,” Maury Povich and Connie Chung, Woody Allen and “his very young Asian wife.” (Hmmm, Connie excluded, I’d say we Asian women are getting the shaft in terms of name recognition.But this is all beside my point.) Our marriage isn’t trendy. But ours is not a Jewish boy meets Asian girl, and due to a number of conveniently shared values–“tight-knit families, money saving, hard work, and educational advancement” included–they fall in love kind of story. As freshmen, we were lowly chorus members–he was a Jewish Nazi, and I, an evangelical Christian Chinese Austrian nun. Were Jewish women more likely to marry Chinese men? Maybe it was because he had lived in this city (which I like to think of as Jewish as Woody Allen) his whole life. But later, when I left Starbucks, I wondered if I really was out of the mainstream, as a shiksa with a Chinese husband, Was it true?You're single and hot with your creamy, caramel-colored skin, and the white guy at the end of the sushi bar eyes you. Anyway, we all have those inner voices, and back at the sushi bar, your inner voice goes, "But would he take me home to his mama?So you cozy up your multiracial, muttilicious, Taiwanese-Latina self to the sushi bar, two seats away from him. " Then another talk bubble lights up, that inner voice that's even deeper in your gut.Then in May 2012, Facebook’s Jewish founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wed Chinese American physician Priscilla Chan, by which time Asian-Jewish marriages were so common that many pundits found no reason to even mention the inter-ethnic aspect of the union.
Unfortunately, many Westerners can't tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, or Vietnamese.Subjectivity informs our questions, and this is not seen as a negative at all,” Kim told The Times of Israel about the couple’s decision to embark on a seven-year-long study that would fill the evident void and culminate in their recently published, “Jew Asian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews.” A work with a strong academic underpinning, “Jew Asian” is at the same time accessible to all readers interested in how Jewish-Asian couples and their families fit into broader contexts of multiracial identity and religiosity in the United States, as well as of intermarriage historically.The most engaging sections of the book deal with the everyday lives of Jewish American and Asian American couples and the decisions they make in terms of racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities as they raise their children, and with how the grown children of such families perceive their own Jewish identities.Oh, and in the “So Long, Farewell” number, we got to put on fancy clothes and sing “Goodbye! Our friendship began, developed, and thrived while we acted and sang over the course of those four years.It continued as each of us dated our own high school sweethearts.