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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.  

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.

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.

Mon, March 8 2021 24 Adar 5781