How to Start a Social Justice Book Club
Reform Jews across North America come together in their own communities to read, explore and discuss social justice-themed books. RAC Reads, hosted by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, provides all of the tools necessary to help get you started.
The RAC has selected bestselling books that address relevant social justice topics, provided questions to guide your discussion, tips on getting started and resources to help you take action. So grab a few friends, pull up a chair, and let's get reading! These books and films provide thought-provoking stories to get your family, congregation, and community talking about racial justice.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Between the World and Me is a challenging yet eye-opening examination of race, racism and the American dream presented in the form of a letter from Ta-Nehisi Coates to his teenage son. Download the discussion guide.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson draws on his years of experience as a lawyer and advocate for prisoners wrongly sentenced to death to craft a powerful narrative about the deep racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system. Download the discussion guide.
Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
Mrs. Katz and Tush is an illustrated children’s book that tells the story of a friendship between a young African American boy, Larnel, and an elderly Jewish woman, Mrs. Katz. The story is rich with opportunities for discussion about important ideas and values such as intergenerational respect and admiration, intercultural exchange, interracial relationships, and new definitions of family. Read the discussion guide.
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
Waking Up White is the compelling story of author Debby Irving's life-long journey to understand her white privilege and position herself as an ally in the struggle for racial justice. Download the discussion guide.
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
Mountains Beyond Mountains follows Dr. Paul Farmer as he works to heal disease and fight poverty in underserved communities worldwide. Download the discussion guide.
Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Dalia Sofer tells the story of a modern-day Iranian family dealing with the repercussions of the father's wrongful imprisonment and the challenges of being Jewish in a country with ever-growing Muslim fanaticism. Download the discussion guide.
The Sacred Table edited by Mary L. Zamore
The Sacred Table is an anthology of diverse essays on Jewish dietary practices that create a rich dialogue about the intersection of Judaism and food. Download the discussion guide.
What are you reading? Share your favorite social justice-related books in the comments below – and maybe you’ll see a discussion guide here soon!