Here are eight ways that white and white-passing Reform Jews, especially, can act now in pursuit of social justice, both directly on a systemic level. These includes advocacy for policy change and for confronting racism within our own communities, and are guided by contributions and feedback from Jews of Color.
As fulfilling as it was to engage in Shavuot programs, a lot weighs on me. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage Black communities and racist violence all over the news, I almost feel like it’s Yom Kippur instead – the time when Jews are supposed to be most aware of their own mortality.
I am Black, I am Jewish, and I am a lesbian, among other things – and I am all of those things at all times in every context; not parts that intersect, but a whole person who fits into different worlds and spaces.
When we can’t be Moses or Esther or whomever we want to be like, it’s OK – it’s necessary, even – to be Noah. Being “good enough” may not have the same glamor as leading an entire people to the Promised Land, but do you know what being “good enough” accomplished? In Noah’s case, it meant being trusted by the Holy Blessed One to literally start the entire world from scratch.
These questions are intended to honor all of us by helping to identify and acknowledge our missteps so that we may, ultimately, do better going forward. Additionally, celebrating our successes empowers us to move closer to the diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities we seek to build.
Created to commemorate the day that peace was restored between the Jewish tribes, allowing women to marry men from different tribes, many see Tu B’Av as symbolizing the freedom to love without prejudice.
The Eternal One spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: If any men or women explicitly utter a nazirite’s vow, to set themselves apart for the Eternal,they shall abstain from wine and any other intoxicant." - Numbers 6:1-2