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Cultivating Anti-Racism Course

Past Sessions
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 21 Nisan 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 15 Adar 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 17 Sh'vat 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 18 Tevet 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 20 Kislev 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, November 2, 2022 8 Cheshvan 5783 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 6, 2022 5 Nisan 5782 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 6 Adar II 5782 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 8 Adar I 5782 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 10 Sh'vat 5782 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 11 Tevet 5782 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 13 Kislev 5782 - 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Teachers: Rabbi Ariann, Shana Stein, Barbara Reisman, Noémi Giszpenc, Ellen Kolba and Deb Levy. 

Hillel said: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” This course approaches white supremacy from our perspective as Jews and members of a Jewish community.

This course is a continuation of the one offered last year. Returning participants and new participants are welcome to register. The learning journey offers chances to deepen understanding, explore new ideas, and practice mindfulness and intentional action. Like last year, we will pair each registered participant with a chevruta study partner, and place each pair in a small learning group of ~6 people to allow more meaningful conversations.

The topics we have planned include:

  • Why do we as Jews need a class on cultivating anti-racism? What does white supremacy have to do with us, and what do we have to do with dismantling it?
  • How does racism show up at different scales—internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological? How does that compare to the ways in which antisemitism shows up? In what ways does trauma affect people?
  • How have reparations been attempted for various impacted groups throughout history, including Jewish victims of the Holocaust? What do these attempts allow us to imagine about reparations in the U.S. context?
  • Is it possible to perceive the power of a gatekeeper as one who can open doors rather than keep them closed? How do litmus tests of acceptable behavior drive wedges between groups who could otherwise find common cause—and who does that benefit?
  • What are the ways that culture invisibly creates circles of belonging and exclusion? What aspects of culture harm us and what contribute to joy and peace? How can we specifically create a welcoming and joyful culture for members of all races at Bnai Keshet?

This class is being offered by Rabbi Ariann and a group of volunteers: Noémi Giszpenc, Shana Stein, Ellen Kolba, Deb Levy, and Barbara Reisman. It is part of the year-long study of Repair that the congregation is undertaking, but also part of an ongoing effort for anti-racism study and action. Our course reading list, as well participant and teacher recommendations, will be shared online for everyone in the community.

It is written in Pirkei Avot, “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

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Fri, May 24 2024 16 Iyar 5784