Multiracial Sinai’s Goals and Plans for 2020-21
Recognizing that our movement’s vision of dignity, equity, and safety for all people has yet to be fully realized, Temple Sinai is committed to undertaking transformational internal steps to further affirm and enhance our identity as a multiracial Reform Jewish community. Multiracial Sinai is committed to supporting those steps by helping guide Temple Sinai in being an antiracist congregation. To do so, in the fall of 2019 Multiracial Sinai began congregation-wide programming that provided opportunities for education, affinity groups and training. Multiracial Sinai is continuing and expanding this programming in 2020-21.
Multiracial Sinai welcomes ideas and suggestions. If you would like to share your experiences or insights, or to receive information about upcoming events, please contact Deitra Reiser and Cathy Goldwyn, co-chairs of Multiracial Sinai.
Facilitated discussion groups on “Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community” are being held throughout the year, beginning in October 2020
Talking about race is both difficult and necessary in our Jewish community and in society. This six-week facilitated discussion group will provide space to develop what author Robin DiAngelo calls “racial stamina,” the ability to think and talk about race effectively. The group will help each person explore their own racial identity, increase awareness of the impact of race and better understand how to affirm and embrace all people at Temple Sinai.
Temple Sinai Racial Equity Project
In 2021 Multiracial Sinai is launching a collaborative initiative to advance our transformational internal work to “affirm and enhance our identity as a multiracial Reform Jewish Community” as we continue to strive to be an antiracist synagogue. The following is an overview of this new initiative, the Racial Equity Project.
What We Are Doing
Temple Sinai’s mission statement includes the commitment “to undertake transformational internal steps to affirm and enhance our identity as a multiracial Reform Jewish Community.” We have publicly pledged ourselves “to being an antiracist synagogue and to the ongoing, sustained work of dismantling racism in our institutions and society.” We know that racial bias and the impacts of systemic racism occur in all aspects of community life and institutional practices. In furtherance of the temple’s goal to be an antiracist synagogue, Multiracial Sinai has undertaken the Racial Equity Project, an initiative to share with temple committees and functional teams what we have learned about the broad impacts of racial bias and systemic racism, and to explore changes that can help remedy these impacts in our congregation.
The Racial Equity Project aims to advance the goal of becoming an affirmatively antiracist synagogue by incorporating an antiracist perspective in the ongoing work of each temple committee and functional team. Working with lay leaders and staff, the Racial Equity Project will:
- identify the impacts of the temple’s policies, practices, and behavior on Jews of color and people of color in our community;
- work to change those policies, practices, and behavior that have a racist impact;
- promote the participation and leadership of Jews of color and people of color in temple programming and governance;
- encourage existing and future temple committee members to participate in MRS’s Building Racial Stamina facilitated discussion groups;
- develop ways to receive feedback on racial equity issues and institutionalize this exchange of views and information in an ongoing, transparent and transformative process; and
- identify other ways to advance our antiracist goals.
How We Plan to Achieve These Objectives
The Racial Equity Project will be a collaborative and iterative process. Designated leads from Multiracial Sinai’s Racial Equity Project team will:
- reach out to relevant temple committees and staff members to introduce and explain the process;
- open discussion on committee-specific issues we have identified and on other issues that may emerge from the outreach;
- solicit the perspectives and experiences of Jews of color and people of color within the temple community; and
- document progress, recommendations for change, and anticipated future steps in a report or other written form to be determined in collaboration with clergy and committee leaders that will be prominent, transparent, and accessible to the entire temple community.