Racial Justice Resources For Our Community
Racism’s horrific scope is plain for all to see. From COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers, recent tragedies have sparked widespread pain and anger and a heightened urgency around these issues. We are obligated to work together to address the dehumanization of a group of people in the form of systemic racism. Among the many who now step forward in solidarity are countless Jews, representing synagogues and other Jewish institutions, who understand that we have sacred difficult work to do together.
To help us renew and deepen our commitment to the Black community as well as support Jews of Color; specifically Black Jews, the JCRC of Greater Washington has created a resource list – for learning and self-examination around explicit and implicit racism, and for taking concrete anti-racist action to advance justice and equity in our society. Whether you are a seasoned social justice activist or are delving into this work for the first time, the JCRC is here to support you, and help you create a plan of action that works for your institution, synagogue, group, or family.
USING THESE MATERIALS
No two synagogues, institutions, schools, or families are the same.
Use the Anti-Racism Scaffolding Document and Jewish Organizational Assessment to gauge where your synagogue, institution, school, or family is on the spectrum of core knowledge, self-awareness, engagement with Black and Brown neighbors, and building a welcoming environment especially for Jews of Color within your community.
We suggest the following key questions as a starting point in this process:
- How can I build bridges, foster a sense of welcoming and belonging, and engage Jews of Color, both within my institution and beyond, in this process?
- How can I/we work together to dismantle systems of racism?
- Which specific demographic(s) within my institution do I wish to further engage?
- Which education and engagement platforms are likely to be the most successful in connecting to that demographic?
- Which sources will have the most resonance for my institution?
- Have I set realistic, achievable goals for this initiative, and do I have stakeholder support for those goals?
- A Template for Outreach to Neighborhood Schools - Temple Beth Ami
- Turn the Tables On Racial Justice: Shabbat Dinner Host Guide - Repair the World
- Get Involved with Equal Justice Initiative - Equal Justice Initiative
- Civil Rights Action Resources - National Council Of Jewish Women
- We Must End The War On Black Lives. Here's Four Ways To Take Action Now - Bend the Arc
- Combat Hate and Xenophobia - AJC
- Resources on Police Brutality, Protests, and the Black Lives Matter Movement -T'ruah
- ADL Webinars: Fighting Hate from Home - ADL
- Ways Your Congregation Can Act Now for Racial Justice - Union for Reform Judaism
- Color of Change
- National Urban League
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Webinar: Welcoming and Embracing Jews of Color
Racial Justice in Education
Jewish Texts to Use When Discussing Race
These texts can be used to start a conversation about race and equity. They focus on people being created in the image of God and the universal need for justice.
- Genesis 1:26-27
- Exodus 2:16-17
- Leviticus 19:18
- Numbers 12:1-16
- Deuteronomy 16:20
- Malachi 2:10
- Pirke Avot 3:14
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, Religion and Race, January 14, 1963
- Abraham Joshua Heschel, Telegraph to President Kennedy, June 16, 1963
- Source Sheet by Rabbi Sandra Lawson - Creating an Inclusive Judaism for the Future
- Source Sheet by AJWS – Civil Rights: What Should I Do?
- Select Jewish Texts on Protest- T’ruah
- Speaking Truth To Power - Rabbi Dov Linzer
- Ask The Rabbis | Does Jewish Law Forbid Racism? - Moment Magazine
Organizations Working to Make Our Jewish Spaces More Welcoming For Jews of Color
- Anti-Racism Scaffolding Document - Created by Anna Stamborski, M. Div Candidate (2022) , Nikki Zimmermann, M. Div candidate (2021) & Bailie Gregory, M. Div, M.S. Ed.
- In Your Backyard: A Toolkit for Addressing Criminal Justice at the Local Level - JCPA
- Jewish Racial Justice Resources - Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
- What Is Everyday Bias? - ADL
- Gather DC's Solidarity Guide - GatherDC
- Racial Justice Resource Guide - United Nations Association of the USA
- Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies - Paul Kivel
- Jewish Perspectives of Racial Justice - Repair The World
Talking to Kids About Race
- 13 Books about Equality for Kids Ages 3-5 - Brightly
- A Jewish Anti-Racist Reading List for Children of All Ages - Lior Zaltzman, Kveller
- A Resource for Talking about Race with Young Children - Raising Race Conscious Children
- 7 Ways to Highlight Resistance Efforts When Discussing Oppression with Children - Mia Birdsong, EmbraceRace
- Talking to Young Children about Bias and Prejudice - ADL
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup - Katrina Michie, Pretty Good
- Anti-Racism Resources for Jewish Parents - Ohr Kodesh Congregation
- Rights in America - DOCSTeach, National Archives
- ADL Table Talk - ADL
- Talking to Kids about Racism - Oakland Library
- PJ Library Resources for Talking with Kids About Racism - PJ Library
- Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness - PBS
- Antiracist Baby Picture Book by Ibram X. Kendi
- Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
For more information on these issues and to get involved with the JCRC please follow this link and complete the form.
This toolkit was compiled by JCRC staff in response to community requests for information and guidance on discussing racism and building an anti-racist Jewish community. This is not an exhaustive list and does not constitute endorsement. We will continue to cultivate this list as new items are created and shared. We welcome suggestions for adding to this toolkit.