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Rabbi Susan Talve


Thirty years ago, a group of Jews founded Central Reform Congregation (CRC) and, as a direct response to white flight to the suburbs, we chose to locate it within the city limits of St. Louis. 

As CRC’s rabbi, I participated in vigils against racism-induced violence, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations. Our congregation also developed a relationship with Cote Brilliante, a local black church. Together, our two institutions began mentoring 87 first-grade students, following them until they graduated from high school and inspiring the city-wide Mentor St. Louis...

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Standing on the steps of the Old Court House in St. Louis the night before Michael Brown’s funeral, we stopped marching and chanting, and instead prayed quietly for his family and the families of so many black men who have been shot by police.

In that very place where Dred Scott sued for his freedom and was denied his citizenship in 1857, we remembered that the next morning, Michael would not be a cause, but the son of a family who would have to bury their child.

We stood in silence, feeling the legacy of slavery and wondering if the exposure of the disparities of Ferguson...

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