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Racial Justice

Collage of four Black individuals holding signs that say EQUAL

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.

Chris Harrison
Young Black woman wearing a face mask outdoors

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted nearly everyone across the globe, and the Jewish community is no exception. Those of us who are Jews of Color – comprising approximately 12 percent of the U.S. Jewish community – feel a particular sense of isolation and anxiety.

Chris Harrison
Smiling teen girl digging in the dirt next to a hand painted sign that says BROCCOLI in both Hebrew and English

As humanity recovers from this crisis, we have the opportunity to build a more sustainable, just society that promotes both our health and the health of our planet. 

Jamie Starr
Still from the film Just Mercy showing Michael B Jordans character comforting the character played by Jamie Foxx

I carry the trauma of my ancestors, who were kidnapped and enslaved, who survived post-abolition racist terrorism, and who survived devastating Jim Crow laws. I also carry the history of the Jewish people, who have survived countless acts of violence, forced conversion, and genocide.

Chris Harrison
Reform Jewish students visiting Selma, Alabama

Learn how a trip in the South helped a group of Reform Jewish teens confront racial inequality and explore their own connections to promoting racial justice.

Rabbi Ellen Nemhauser
Racially segregated water fountains in the south

In 1961, I asked my rabbi if he thought I should join the Freedom Riders, who challenged segregated seating in the south. He said, “If I were in your shoes, I would go.”

Rabbi Philip M. Posner
Canadian flag on flagpole with bright blue sky in the background

Let’s celebrate Canada Day by embracing diversity, reaffirming our duty to care for each other, and ensuring our communal places reflect hospitality and lovingkindness.

Rivka Campbell and Dara Lithwick
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C.

On MLK Jr. Day, we often see a sanitized, nonconfrontational version of King that is far from the radical activist who was reviled during his time for his justice work.

Chris Harrison
Many pairs of hands forming hearts

This essay about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. written a year after the civil rights leader was slain, is from a collection of unpublished writings by Rabbi Chaim Stern, z"l.

Rabbi Chaim Stern, z"l
Hand in a pink sweater holding the new Moral Resistance book

We caught up with some of the contributors of the new anthology Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority to learn about their perspectives on the spiritual origins of the Jewish pursuit of justice.

Abby Levine

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