Transforming your Community into Advocates of Change Webinar - Shared screen with speaker view
Who can see your viewing activity?
was my bible teacher at the JTS
Marty & Linda S
who is taking very hard to understand
Please keep yourself on mute when you are not speaking
What is on your mind about race? What would someone think about race in the Jewish community if all they knew was your experience in your synagogue - leaders, people who attend, people who serve as staff including security? People who attend simchas and sad events?
any specific examples of ways race/privilege have come up in your life or community
There's not much diversity in the suburbs!
people seem very curious when someone of color is in shul on shabbat
not much racial diversity. I am Chinese Jewish. much interfaith. very welcoming congregation. rare black jews or other POC, but welcomed. LGBTQ welcome and embraced
Seconding Paula, the head of our religious school is a white woman married to a white woman, both cis-gender as far as I know, and we have at least one gay board member that I know of. I think--hope--it's welcoming to show that LGBTQ+ people are in leadership roles.
Our shul started a new group, Achim Sheli, My Brothers and Sisters. We have black Jews in our congregation who participate at Shabbat services and at least one black Jew who has taught our Hebrew High kids for many years. He also is one of the teachers who goes with the Hebrew High kids on the Confirmation Trip to Israel
A great question Ruth. We tend to say "Welcome, are you new or are you visiting?" Often (not always) this prompts the person to tell some of their story.
Just ask them to do the Aliyah, and they’ll tell you if they don’t know what to do
In response to Barbra: Ask "are you comfortable with having an alyiah? as opposed to would you like one. If they are not Jewish they probably would ask what is it in response to a comfort question.
White Meadow Temple
Part of the problem is that our communities haven't been that diverse, and we don't know/understand how to "embrace," rather than just being "welcoming." My congregation is very laid back, and the majority are definitely welcoming of just about anyone (POC, intermarrieds, LGBTQ), but that's because we have almost no one in these categories! I know that everyone would want to be welcoming, but most of us are ignorant of the language to express this.
Although if we visit a shul when traveling, it's a great thing to be given an aliya...
in my after Bar Mitzvah confirmation class which met for dinner once a week, we always had an inter faith guest who joined our rabbi in helping us understand other faiths. As a 14 year old, this was eye opening on very segregated (still!) Long Island.
In one of the USY staff’s racial justice committee meetings, we examined our mission/vision/values and discussed - are we embodying what we stand for for Jews of Color? For Jews who identify as LGBTQ+? What can we be doing better?
Here are the questions:Take reactions on reading and videos (Yavilah, Trevor Noah and Frederick Douglass descendents)If you were a different color yesterday or tomorrow - what would be different about your day to day activities and experience.?
Can you send a list of resources that you would recommend? Books, links, podcasts. Thank you.
I look forward to the day when we can be in the shul, welcome visitors, sit down to Kiddush lunch....
Beautifully put, Barbara, about getting to know others!
Thank you- this has given me some ways to think, to share, and to change some things in my kehillah, which I am involved in right now- kol hakavod- Shabbat shalom, Sandy Starkman-
Our synagogues are not islands. We are in communities. This issue is well beyond our lives inside our buildings. If we engage in the community around racism and racial justice, our actions will show how we may welcome people within the congregational space. We need to listen and hear the experience and impact of racism and lean into the discomfort of the privilege we have.
Thanks for this conversation — I’m due for another meeting. Important work for us all.
Thank you for this conversation - its a good starting place.
Zoe Levine Sporer
what’s the name of that JTS initiative?
Thank you Ruth - we are having this conversation in the workplace now.
Todah Rabbah to everyone!
Thank you so much for putting together this excellent space and conversation.
Where would we find a link to the Tuesday conversation?