On Tuesday, May 17, 2022 Temple Sinai, the Davis Center and Multiracial Sinai sponsored an engaging and important program called Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color. More than 75 people from 7 area congregations gathered at Temple Sinai to learn from Ilana Kaufman, Executive Director of the Jews of Color Initiative, about the multiracial reality of the Jewish people, how systems of inequality are perpetuated in our own Jewish spaces, and opportunities for powerful intervention.
|Panelists (from right to left): Ilana Kaufman, Executive Director of the Jews of Color Initiative, and Temple Sinai leaders Anthony Murphy, Deitra Reiser and Dora Chen||
Ms. Kaufman joined the affinity gathering for participants who identify as Jews of Color that was held over dinner before the program.
Described by participants as “provocative and mind-expanding,” we were called to action– to transform our houses of worship into antiracist communities, places of belonging where all Jews of Color are able to bring their whole selves even to primarily White Jewish spaces.
Temple Sinai leaders Deitra Reiser, Dora Chen and Anthony Murphy engaged participants through a candid and provocative conversation with Ilana Kaufman about their experiences in Jewish spaces and their aspirations for more open spaces of belonging that reflect our multiracial Jewish world.
Ms. Kaufman summoned all attendees to support the leadership of Jews of Color and initiatives and organizations led by Jews of Color, and to shift Jewish organizational leadership to reflect the multiracial diversity of American Jews.
The program was sponsored by the following congregations, in partnership with Temple Sinai: Adas Israel Congregation, Sixth & I, Temple Emanuel, Temple Micah, Temple Shalom, and Washington Hebrew Congregation.
Read the report from the Jews of Color Initiative: Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color
In May 2021, Temple Sinai co-sponsored “Understanding Reparations: A Three Part Series”, along with the Union for Reform Judaism In partnership with Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Sinai of Washington D.C.
Below you will find links to the videos of the series, a blog post about Reparations and some wonderful resources about Reparations.
- Understanding Reparations videos
- “Resurfacing the Conversation About Reparations” by Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner and Yolanda Savage-Narva
- The URJ Resolution on the Study & Development of Reparations for Slavery and Systemic Racism in the US
- The text of the House Resolution 40
- General watching/listening/reading:
- Reparations 4 Slavery
- The “Reparations Roundtable” hosted by the American Bar Association, Civil Rights and Social Justice section
- Professor William Spriggs
- Nikole Hannah-Jones What is Owed
- Ta-Nehisi Coates Testimony on Reparations and The Case for Reparations
- Lili Sher White Jews Should Understand Why Black Americans Need Reparations Now
- Moriel Rothman-Zecher: https://religiondispatches.org/a-jewish-perspective-on-reparations/
- Aryeh Bernstein on “The Torah Case for Reparations.”- (short written version) or a podcast version from 2020
- Are Slave Reparations a Jewish Concern? An Interview with Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein – YouTube (18 minutes, 2015)
- Rabbi Seth Limmer sermon.
- Rabbi Brous sermon link includes text and video.
- Quick blurbs on Rabbi’s takes regarding reparations in Moment
- From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans Darity & Mullen
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America Ibrahim X. Kendi
What Does it Mean to be Antiracist?
By now we have all heard the term “antiracist” but what does it mean to you and for our Temple Sinai community? The Multiracial Sinai Committee (MRS) has been working towards guiding Temple Sinai in being affirmatively antiracist since 2018. Members of MRS and other congregants gathered on November 11 in conversation about what it means to be antiracist in our own lives, and what each of us can do to advance the goal of making Temple Sinai an antiracist congregation.
Materials for review:
- Definitions for What Does it Mean to be Antiracist? (PDF)
- Resources for Further Learning about Racism, Race and Antiracism (PDF)
How Can I Join the Work?
- Sign up for our e-mail list, the Multiracial Sinai Update.
- Inquire about future sessions of the Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community facilitated discussion groups
- Review the compilation of readings and videos in Being Anti-Racist: Ten Days Toward Inclusion 5781.
For more information about Temple Sinai’s antiracist work with the Washington Interfaith Network, click here, and visit WIN’s website. You may also email Barbara Kraft, Temple Sinai’s outgoing WIN Core Team Chair, or Kevin Mulshine, our incoming WIN Core Team Chair.