This is Latinx Heritage Month. Latinx Jews in the United States are a diverse group with many ways of engaging with their heritage and identity. To celebrate this diversity, Be’chol Lashon is sharing several short profiles of some of the many Latinx Jews who are American Jewish leaders. This profile of Yanira Quinones is the forth in the series, please check back here to read the others.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a Puerto Rican Jew living in Westchester County with my beautiful children. I have a Master in Jewish Theological Seminary in Jewish Education. I love to Inspire other Jews to dig deeper Into their own Jewish practices.
There is a great deal of diversity within the broad category of Latinx. How do you identify?
I was born and raised on the mainland I still identify as Puerto Rican. As I have gotten older, I’ve come to understand that Africa Caribbean also fits.
There are a lot of ways of describing Latinx/o/a and Hispanic heritage, How do you prefer to identify yourself?
Depending on who I’m speaking to potentially determines how I could identify. If we share the same region I might default to the term that connects us. I struggle with the terminology Latinx because it doesn’t come from Spanish. I wish we could create a term in Spanish that honors all of us.
With so many rich diverse cultures, how do you find connections with other Latinx Americans?
I love connecting with other Latinx people. We all share aspects of culture and language and yet also possess the ability to share something new with each other.
What excites you about Jewish life today?
There is nothing like being in a Jewish space Bumping into another Hispanic/Latinx person and be able to speak Spanish. Being able to share what connects us creates a sacred community within a community.