Listen, Learn, & Act

Anti-Racism 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?
    • Further learning regarding racism and addressing power and privilege 
    • Improving internal self-awareness and conducting a self-audit of our institution
    • Legislative activism to further social change  
    • Deepening ties to faith communities of color and embracing and building bridges with Jews of Color
  • 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?

Listen, Learn, & Act: 5 Things You Can Do Now

  1. Check yourself: Perform a self-audit on privilege and bias and encourage your organization to do the same.
  2. Watch a recording of our panel discussion on how synagogues can become meaningfully involved in advancing racial justice
  3. Speak out: Email state and local legislators to demand that the government take steps to avoid a mass eviction crisis stemming from the COVID pandemic, which will disproportionately impact black and brown people
  4. Support Black business owners, such as Black-owned Etsy shops and Black owned restaurants
  5. Talk about race with your family and commit to reading and discussing books and articles about race

Books

Reading lists:

Articles

Films

For more information on these issues and to get involved with the JCRC please follow this link and complete the form.

Disclaimer

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.