The Truth about Ashkenazi Jews | Unpacked


About Explweek, we’re looking at a long-standing theory that claims that Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of the Khazars. If it were true, that would make Ashkenazim offshoots of a multi-ethnic conglomerate of Turkic people who converted en masse in the eighth century in the kingdom of Khazaria.

Turns out, it’s totally false.

Unlike other conspiracy theories, though, it’s not just a fringe few who are pushing this idea. It has the backing of academics, including some in Israel – with dangerous implications.

The hypothesis has been disproved, so why does it continue to resonate and how did an attempt to use the theory to fight back against antisemitism in the 1970s end up fueling anti-Israel rhetoric to this day?

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About Explainers: From ancient Jewish traditions to the modern State of Israel, we explain it all. Diving into anything and everything related to Jewish culture, history, and even religion.

Understand Jewish holidays, Israeli politics, Jewish diasporic communities, and more. Learn about Judaism in pop culture, debunking myths about Jews, and explore obscure Israeli landmarks. We’re asking questions as basic as “What is the Talmud?”, and as obscure as “How did hip-hop boost Kosher wine sales?”, and everything in between.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

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