Chaya Lev, a Black Jew in Israel, describes life in Israel after Oct. 7—and why Palestinians aren’t people of colour

Chaya Lev converted to Judaism and moved from the United States to Israel in 2016. (Supplied photo)

When Chaya Lev converted to Judaism, she was determined to move to Israel. Later on, after surviving breast cancer, she decided to transform her dream into reality, making aliyah in 2016 and starting an Afro-inspired dance movement in the Middle East.

But after Hamas launched a lethal terror attack on Oct. 7, it changed her life. With rockets being fired and Israeli sirens blaring, she and her synagogue congregants grabbed their building’s Torah scrolls and started running through the streets on Simchat Torah to safety—a scene she says she will never forget.

Now, weeks into a war with Hamas, and with Israel’s image in the West shifting for the worse, Lev is speaking out to her thousands of social media followers, challenging the argument that Palestinians are “people of colour” in a fight against colonial Israel. She joins Rivkush, The CJN’s podcast about Jews of colour, to describe what life has been like on the ground during this conflict.


Rivkush is hosted by Rivka Campbell. Michael Fraiman is the editor and prodcer. Our theme music is by Westside Gravy. The show is sponsored by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast or donating to The CJN.