Diversity, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

The Orthodox Jewish group in New York are a minority group that has experienced both policy and racial discrimination.  Ironically, the same group have been practicing their own gender discrimination under the guise of their religious beliefs. This has included making non-orthodox Jews, residing within their community, ride at the back of public transport buses. The Department of Transport has questioned the legitimacy of this and states it represents a breach of anti-segregation law in the City. (Amira, 2012)

It can be argued that some minority groups invite discrimination and prejudice by their own conduct and attitudes towards the broader public. From a human rights perspective both minority discrimination, stereotyping and racial prejudice should not be tolerated in any respectable civilised society and the law provides remedial action against such actions.

Brief History

The New York Jewish population is the third largest concentration outside of Israel. A large number of these are Orthodox Jewish people of the Hasidic community.  The Jews of Old Brooklyn arrived mainly from Bavaria around 1850.  Between 1880-90 more than 200,000 Jews arrived in New York, mainly being expelled from Moscow.  Many chose to make Brooklyn their home and purchase land and property in the area.  By 1908 they were well established in Brooklyn and had established their own cultural identity.   Today Brooklyn continues to be a vibrant Jewish community centered in the heart of New York.

Patterns of Discrimination

A recent case was raised against Brooklyn College for discrimination against the hiring of Orthodox Jews as members of Faculty.  The college emphatically denied that there was any discrimination in the hiring process or the promotion policies within the college “Each of the cases involved a decision based on a good faith application of academic judgment or employment procedures unrelated to any prejudice or bias” (JTA, 2012). The court subsequently upheld the decision and the College was cleared.

The Jewish Community in Brooklyn have recently been the subject of an investigation carried out by Sharon Otterman and Ray Riviera, reporters with the New York Times.  This has highlighted a number of sexual abuse cases within the Jewish Orthodox Community. Similar to the Catholic scandals, this has resulted in discriminatory policies within their own community. (Weiss, 2012). The Brooklyn District Attorney has refused to give further disclosures on the incidents, questioning influence by the Orthodox Jewish lobby “Hynes’ refusal to disclose almost any information about the arrest or prosecution of alleged sex offenders from the politically powerful Orthodox community is not only discriminatory; it’s also a cynical insult to the victims his office is pledged to support.” (Lesher, 2012).

Policy Discrimination

Nearly 25% of all residents dwelling in Brooklyn are Jewish, many being Orthodox Jews and this represents one of the largest Jewish communities in America. The increase in population has raised power and poverty in the Orthodox section.  The community has now reached a capacity point.  The holocaust survivors are now getting old and passing on experiences to the next generation; in general terms this is a thriving and vibrant community.

The concept of Jewish stereotyping in New York is on the wane but the rise of Orthodox Jewish amongst the young is increasing “black-suited old men with long, gray beards, the figures show that traditional religious commitment has become especially prevalent among the young.” (Medved, 2012). Much of this is about the retention of culture and roots.  However, many of the young Jewish people have become very Americanised in their outlook, particularly those within the non-orthodox movement, as such mixing amongst the cultural diversity of the many ethnic races that make up the cosmopolitan City of New York.

If anything there is more internal bickering and discrimination within the Jewish Orthodox community than that imposed upon it by external influences.  Much of this being societal pressures of an overcrowded community in close daily contact with one another.

References

Amira, D. (2012, 9 26). Orthodox jews caught acting like Orthodox Jews on semi-public bus. Retrieved from nymag.com : http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/10/jewish_bus_brooklyn_b110.html

JTA. (2012, 9 26). Brooklyn College cleared of bias allegations against Orthodox profs. Retrieved from JTA: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/05/16/3095586/brooklyn-college-cleared-in-discrimination-against-orthodox-professors

Lesher, M. (2012, 9 26). Brooklyn D.A. “Plays Sex Abuse Politics” With The Lives Of Haredi Children. Retrieved from Failed Messiah: http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/04/brooklyn-da-plays-politics-with-haredi-child-sex-abuse-victims-234.html

Medved, M. (2012, 9 26). What It Means That ‘New York Jew’ Is No Longer Synonymous With ‘Liberal’. Retrieved from US News: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/15/what-it-means-that-new-york-jew-is-no-longer-synonymous-with-liberal.html

Weiss, P. (2012, 9 25). NYT’ exposes pattern of Ultra Orthodox community covering up sexual abuse, punishing accusers. Retrieved from MondoWeiss: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/nyt-exposes-pattern-of-ultra-orthodox-community-covering-up-sexual-abuse-punishing-accusers.html

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