Multiracial Sinai

“Did Something Happen?” How We Started the Work of Becoming an Anti-Racist Synagogue

Deitra Reiser and Rabbi Hannah L. Goldstein discuss the formation and work of the Multiracial Sinai Committee in a URJ blog post.
Multiracial Sinai’s Goals and Plans for 2019-2020

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 becoming an affirmatively antiracist congregation. To do so, in the fall of 2019 Multiracial Sinai is beginning congregation-wide programming which will provide opportunities for education, affinity groups and training.

Facilitated discussion groups on “Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community” started in October with more groups starting in the winter and spring.

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.

Multiracial Sinai welcomes ideas and suggestions. If you would like to share your experiences or insights, or if you would like more information, please contact Rabbi Hannah Goldstein.

Yom Kippur Al Chet for Racial Injustice

This year the Temple Sinai Yom Kippur Mincha Service included reflections by several members of Multiracial Sinai and the following Al Chet for Racial Injustice. Read now.

Background:

Since the fall of 2017, a group of congregants has been working with Rabbi Hannah Goldstein to lay the groundwork for the newly formed Multiracial Sinai Committee.

The purpose of Multiracial Sinai is to provide guidance in affirming Temple Sinai’s identity as a multiracial congregation and in identifying opportunities for improvement in aspects of our congregational life.

By way of context, Temple Sinai has wholeheartedly embraced the Union of Reform Judaism’s 2017 resolution that both reaffirms our movement’s commitment to racial justice and commits the Reform movement to undertake transformative internal steps. Importantly, the resolution affirms our identity as a multiracial Reform Jewish community. Today, more than 10 percent of all Reform Jews identify as Jews of color, a term used to identify Jews whose family origins are originally in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. Jews of color may identify as Black, Latino, Asian American or as mixed heritage such as biracial or multiracial. Temple Sinai’s own membership reflects this diversity.

As with the larger Reform Jewish community, Temple Sinai benefits from the active participation and support of our non-Jewish members who strengthen our community and are often active partners in raising Jewish children. Similar to our Jewish membership, our non-Jewish members are ethnically and racially diverse.

Union of Reform Judaism Resolution on Our Community’s Pursuit of Racial Justice

The 2017 Union of Reform Judaism Resolution on Our Community’s Pursuit of Racial Justice was adopted in 2017. The resolution begins as follows:

“As the Reform Movement continues our fervent pursuit of social justice in North America, we deepen our dedication to the pursuit of racial justice, recognizing that our vision of dignity, equity and safety for all people has yet to be fully realized. This pursuit is fundamental to our identity as a multiracial Reform Jewish community, is rooted in our enduring values, and requires transformative work in both our communal institutions and in the public arena.”

Temple Sinai wholeheartedly embraces the conviction expressed in this resolution and seeks to fulfill these commitments through the congregational work of Multiracial Sinai and the social justice efforts of numerous temple initiatives under the umbrella of the Social Action Committee.

For the full text of the 2017 URJ Resolution click here.