Buffie Longmire-Avital speaks about Jewish families and racial-ethnic socialization

Longmire-Avital, professor of psychology, showcased her research on how Jewish American parents and families talk about racism with their children.

Elon Professor of Psychology and Director of the Black Lumen Project Buffie Longmire-Avital presented research from a recent study she conducted on “​​How Jewish American Parents Engage in Jewish Racial-Ethnic Socialization” to various Elon faculty and staff at an event hosted by Elon’s Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society (CSRCS).

Her research utilized narratives, anecdotal sharing and survey data about the experience of Jews of color (JoCs) and how the Jewish community is learning more about the ways JoCs intentionally engage in concurrent racial-ethnic and religious identity socialization.

Longmire-Avital’s study was made possible through a Race, Religion and American Judaism Fellowship from the Center of Jewish Ethics, which was funded through a National Endowment to the Humanities grant. CSRCS Scholar and Assistant Professor of History Waseem bin Kasim introduced Longmire-Avital, calling attention to her overarching scholarly focus on “how systemic injustices and psychosocial factors contribute to health inequities that impact racial and sexual minorities.”

Longmire-Avital’s project explored how Jewish American parents consciously and subconsciously engage in Jewish racial-ethnic socialization, comparing how white Jewish parents talk about race and the Jewish people with the strategies used by Jewish parents of color. This study asked, “to what extent do parents socialize their children to be aware that the Jewish people in America are multi-racial?”

“Dr. Longmire-Avital’s presentation revealed just how rich and significant her data is,” Director of Elon’s Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society Brain Pennington said. “The implications for how we understand the processes of racial socialization and for appreciating the complex relationships between racial and religious identities are tremendous.”

In addition to her research and work at Elon, Longmire-Avital is a diversity, inclusion, and racial equity (D.I.R.E ©) scholar-educator and has worked closely with Jewish communities and organizations throughout the U.S. on how to begin having conversations about race, equity and inclusion.