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social justice

White hands holding a sign that reads SILENCE IS BETRAYAL

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.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Hand of a Black woman wearing blue nail polish and using a pen to write in a notebook as if penning a letter

If you are my friend, know that I am mourning the heinous murder of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers who worked for a police department with a long history of excessive use of force against Black and Brown bodies.

Jessi Kingston
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
Group of somber people wearing orange clothing and holding a banner that says WEAR ORANGE

On Friday, June 5, we observe Wear Orange Day, a national day of awareness about the scourge of gun violence in the United States. We wear orange to call attention to the epidemic of gun violence facing our country, and to fight for a future free from gun violence. 

Katie Wysong
Woman wearing a kippah turned away from the camera with her hand and forehead resting against the Western Wall

My career path wasn't always clear, and certainly not straight, but I recently discovered that I can draw a direct line from my current role (and my entire worldview around gender conditioning and Judaism) to the guiding Jewish values of my upbringing. 

Nicole Nevarez
Closeup of rusted prison cell bars

The Book of Proverbs instructs us to “speak up for those who cannot speak...to raise our voices on behalf of the vulnerable and downtrodden.” (Proverbs 31:8-9). The individuals who make up America’s prison population are isolated, vulnerable, and voiceless.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Hilly Haber
Male icon and female icon sitting upon coins on a seesaw to represent the gender wage imbalance
March 31 marks how far into the new year women must work to receive in wages what their male counterparts earned in the previous calendar year. 
 
 
Katie Wysong
Blurry image of a teenage boy with his hand at a metal fence

If we are to heed the call of freedom that Passover offers us, we must not close our eyes to the degradation currently taking place right outside our door.

Dr. Julia Paley
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
Somber male doctor looking over his shoulder while wearing scrubs and a face mask

I run the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a nonprofit federally funded community health center in Pittsburgh. Many people have asked me what it feels like in the trenches. The answer? We feel very much alone.

Susan Friedberg Kalson

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