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TBE Racial Justice Initiatives: How Do You Want to Be Involved?

10/12/2020 05:03:56 PM


On erev Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Biatch gave a moving sermon on the Jewish call to racial justice. This sermon followed a series of Temple-wide conversations this summer, when more than 70 Temple Beth El members joined in a virtual conversation to talk about what Temple Beth El can do to address the changes needed in our society. (This sermon is available on our Members Only page, around 1:07:10 in the Erev Rosh Hasanah recording). 

For the last few weeks, the Weekly Happenings email has included an invitation to answer a survey developed by the TBE Racial Justice Action Team. If you have not already filled it out, please take a few minutes to answer the survey here.

The survey asks how TBE members want to become involved, through education, service, advocacy, and relationship building. It asks you think about what strengths and expertise you might want to share. It looks at possible sets of actions we might pursue, such as these:

  1. Internal TBE: Look inward to become more welcoming to Jews of color and communities of color, and to be clear that we are an actively anti-racist community. 
  2. Education: Gain a deeper understanding og systemic racism and examine our own experiences and attitudes. 
  3. Taking action: As we hear about community events and calls for support, select one or two specific action items each week and publicize them to the congregation. 
  4. Civic engagement: Promote voting, oppose voter suppression, and work to get out the vote. 
  5. Criminal justice reform: Respond to how people of color are affected by the criminal justice system. 
  6. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend: In place of the congregational retreat, this year we have the opportunity to participate in community activities and plan a racial justice weekend. 
  7. Support Black or Latinx community groups: In addition to supporting MLK weekend events, participate in community-led events and provide volunteer support. 
  8. Support the Boys & Girls Club internship program: This established program offers internships for Black teens and young adults to work in businesses and nonprofit organizations. 
  9. Personal connections: Create opportunities for TBE members to have meaningful relationships with individuals from the Black community. 

Please let us know which directions are most meaningful to you. Click on the survey to start. 

January 28, 2021 15 Sh'vat 5781