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At B’nai Israel, we pledge to educate ourselves and pursue justice so that the human rights of all Americans are ensured and protected. We condemn the systemic racism and oppression that has resulted in continued hardship and fear among Blacks, including among Jews of Color. Our plans to fulfill this pledge span all the activities of our congregation, from clergy-level relationships to worship to educational opportunities for children and adults. And, we are working with other synagogues in our community to create a forum where ideas about racial justice can reach those who may be new to exploring them.
 
Rabbi Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”  

What is racial justice/racial equity?

Racial Justice 

“The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.”

Racial Equity

“The condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.”
 
Definitions taken from:  https://www.racialequitytools.org/

resources

Websites to Explore

Learn more about what is Racial Justice and Racial Equality.
 
Racial Equity Learning https://www.racialequitytools.org/curricula/rel-modules
Race Forward https://www.raceforward.org/media
The Annie E. Casey Foundation https://www.aecf.org/blog/racial-justice-definitions/
Center for Social Inclusion https://www.centerforsocialinclusion.org/our-work/what-is-racial-equity/
The Opportunity Agenda https://www.opportunityagenda.org/explore/resources-publications/lessons-talking-about-race-racism-and-racial-justice
Best Colleges–Free Online Courses https://www.bestcolleges.com/blog/online-courses-racial-justice/
 
Below you will find additional resources with which to educate yourself, such as books, movies and articles. We will be updating this information with additional items on approximately a monthly basis. If you have suggestions for items to be included, please email them to bnailibrary@bnaiisraelcong.org.  


June 2021—Racial inequality in the LGBTQ, Black and Jewish Communities

BOOKS

One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays by Carla Rachel Sameth  
Through meditations on race, culture, and family, One Day on the Gold Line tells the story of a lesbian Jewish single mother raising a black son in Los Angeles. A memoir-in-essays, it examines life’s surprising changes that come through choice or circumstance, often seemingly out of nowhere, and sometimes darkly humorous—even as the situations are dire.

Black LGBT Health in the United States: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation by Lourdes Dolores Follins
Contributors to this collection intimately understand the associations between health and intersectional anti-Black racism, heterosexism, homonegativity, biphobia, transphobia, and social class. This collection fills a gap in current scholarship by providing information about an array of health issues like cancer, juvenile incarceration, and depression that affect all subpopulations of Black LGBT people, especially Black bisexual-identified women, Black bisexual-identified men, and Black transgender men.

MOVIES, DOCUMENTARIES, INTERVIEWS AND PODCASTS

(available on one or more of these platforms: Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu or via link provided)

Trembling Before G-d (Documentary, 1 hour 24 Minutes)
Queer members of observant Jewish communities discuss the hardships of coming out in an environment that, in many of their experiences, denies the validity of their identities. The award-winning documentary offers a unique look at people struggling to navigate religious beliefs that don’t sit comfortably with their sexual identities.

A Queer, Black, Female Rabbi's Fight for Racial Equity in Judaism by Christian Todd (February 24, 2021- Interview) 

A Frank Conversation on Racism and US Reparations with a Black, Gay, Female Rabbi (April 7, 2020 -Podcast)

Gamal Palmer: Black, Gay, and Jewish by Jeffrey Masters / The Advocate (August 20, 2019 | 34 mins – Podcast) 

ARTICLES 

Racism is Very Prevalent in the Jewish Community.’ A Black, Jewish, Gay Leader Speaks Out by Danielle Berrin (June 23, 2020)

Rabbi Sandra Lawson on How Not to Treat Jews of Color by Yonat Shimron (June 25, 2020)

We are Dying Because of the Fears of White People by Dena Robinson (May 29, 2020) 
[Note: Dena Robinson is a Black, Queer, and Jewish civil rights attorney, educator, Afro-futurist, and diversity, equity, and inclusion facilitator.]

Jewish Organization Welcomes Black Queer Director by Michael Zipkin (January 2021)

May 2021— Understanding Racial Inequities in the Health, Prison, and Housing Systems

BOOKS

The Color of Money, Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran  
The Color of Money pursues the persistence of the racial wealth gap by focusing on the generators of wealth in the Black community: Black banks. Examining the fruits of past policies and the operation of banking in a segregated economy, she makes clear that only bolder, more realistic views of banking’s relation to Black communities will end the cycle of poverty and promote Black wealth.

For Jobs and Freedom: Race and Labor in America since 1865 (Civil Rights and Struggle) by Robert H. Zieger
Describes the African American struggle to obtain equal rights in the workplace and organized labor's response to their demands. For Jobs and Freedom is the first authoritative treatment in more than two decades of the race and labor movement, and Zieger's comprehensive and authoritative book will be standard reading on the subject for years to come.

The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colour Blindness by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow reveals how racial discrimination was not ended but merely redesigned. By targeting Black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the American criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, relegating millions to a permanent second-class status even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. 

Structural Inequality: Black Architects in the United States (Perspectives on a Multiracial America) by Victoria Kaplan
Structural Inequality relates this disparity through the stories of twenty black architects from around the United States and examines the sociological context of architectural practice. Through these experiences, research, and observation, Victoria Kaplan explores the role systemic racism plays in an occupation commonly referred to as the 'white gentlemen's profession.' 

MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES

(available on one or more of these platforms: Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu)

When They See Us (miniseries)
A heart-breaking inside look at the infamous 1989 Central Park jogger case, in which five young Black teens from Harlem were convicted of raping and leaving for dead a young white woman in Central Park.

Just Mercy (drama)
A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for prisoner Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.

New York City Rich and Poor — The Inequality Crisis (documentary)
Long before COVID-19, it was clear who the disease would hit hardest. The boundaries between rich and poor are often clearly defined by neighborhoods. Where a person lives determines their risk of becoming infected with the virus, and health has become more of a luxury than ever. The pandemic is spotlighting the scale and consequences of economic inequality in America.

Housing Segregation and Redlining in America: A Short History (video)
In 1968, Congress passed the Fair Housing Act that made it illegal to discriminate in housing. Gene Demby of NPR’s Code Switch explains why neighborhoods are still so segregated today.

ARTICLES

The Demographics of Racial Inequality in the United States (July 27, 2020)

Views of Racial Inequality (April 9, 2019)

Racism, Inequality, and Health Care for African Americans (December 19, 2019) 

The Jewish VD Detective Who Exposed the Infamous Tuskegee Experiment (January 31, 2021) 

Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequity in the Criminal Justice System (February 3, 2015)
 

April 2021—Current Black-Jewish Relations

BOOKS

Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s by Marc Dolliinger 
Undermining widely held beliefs about the Black-Jewish alliance, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, that drew Blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism.

The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl by Marra B. Gad  

MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES

(available on one or more of these platforms: Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu)

Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent (documentary)
Prinz, as rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ, became a leader of the civil rights movement and worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington, declaring, "Bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence."

ARTICLES

Black and Jewish Entertainment Professionals Sign Unity Statement by Ryan Torok (February 1, 2021)

Black Jewish Relations Intensified and Tested by Current Political Climate (April 23, 2017)

Talk of Jews Benefitting from White Supremacy is Bad for Fighting it (December 24, 2020)

MARCH 2021—The History of Black-Jewish Relations 

BOOKS

Troubling the Waters: Black Jewish Relations in the American Century by Cheryl Lynn Greenberg
Traces the growth, peak, and deterioration of Black-Jewish engagement over the course of the twentieth century. 

Broken Alliance: The Turbulent Times Between Blacks and Jews by Jonathan Kaufman
A vivid, moving portrait of the relationship between Blacks and Jews in recent decades--from the strong partnership forged during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to the angry war of words, recriminations, and highly charged confrontations making headlines today (1990’s). 

Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South by Jeffrey Melnick 
An analysis of the 1915 lynching of Leo Frank, a Northern Jew, convicted of the murder of a young white woman accused by Jim Conley, an African American, as a measure of the complexities characterizing the relationship between African Americans and Jews in America.

Jews and the American Slave Trade by Saul S. Friedman 
The Nation of Islam's Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews has been called one of the most serious anti-Semitic manuscripts claiming that Jews dominated both transatlantic and antebellum South slave trades. Friedman definitively documents historical evidence showing that Jews played a minimal role in the transatlantic, South American, Caribbean, and antebellum slave trades.

MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES

(available on one or more of these platforms: Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu)

Blacks and Jews (documentary; 1hr. 24 min.)  
Attempts to go beyond the sensationalized media coverage and the stereotypes to examine several key conflicts from the point of view of both Black and Jewish activists. 

Shared Legacies:  The African American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance (documentary; 1hr. 35 min.) 
The often-forgotten story of the coalition and friendship between the Jewish and African American communities during the Civil Rights Movement.

Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent (documentary; 56 min.)
Prinz, as rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ, became a leader of the civil rights movement and worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington, declaring, "Bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence."

Wondrous Oblivion (PG; 1hr. 46 min.) 
David is the son of a traditional Jewish family living in the racial and cultural turbulence of 1960s South London. His world is shaken by the unexpected arrival of Samuels and his lively and big-hearted Jamaican family. 

LECTURES

A series of YouTube videos including:

  • Walking Side by Side: Black Jewish Relations in Modern American History
  • Then and Now: Jewish and Black Relations in The Civil Rights Movement 
  • Cheryl Greenberg Lecture A history of black-Jewish relations, and why it Matters

 

CLICK HERE FOR PAST RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES.

Thu, October 28 2021 22 Cheshvan 5782