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Let’s Talk About: Eliminating Racism – Jews of Color

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Date(s) - 10/29/2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Zoom link – please email the office at taoadmin@taocenter.net for this week’s meeting ID and password. 

Tonight’s subject:  Jews of Color

This monthly discussion group will rotate topics and review previous presentations regarding racism.  Please contact Sherry Stern SLStern99@aol.com 612 201-9835 or Renee Greene Renee@TAOCenter.net should you wish to participate.  We will look to understand Racism within ourselves to change and also within our TAO Community.

Tonight’s session will review the topic from Part 2 on Jews of Many Colors.  You can attend this discussion even if you missed the panel presentation and wish to further your understanding of racism.

Dear TAO Community,

Jews of Color

There is a growing population of Jews of Color in our congregation and across the country. According to the Jews of Color Initiative, a 2019 demographics study, approximately one in five American Jewish families has at least one person of color in the household. Also, 12-15% of U.S. Jews identify as non-white or as people of color.

On Wednesday, October 21st, our Wisdom class speakers will share their experiences as a Jew of Color. The presenters, Cecile Dumornay, Pierre Donyegro and Penny Schillinger will speak about their personal experiences and as well as their experiences at TAO. They will also take questions. The panel will inform people about how their experience is different and the same.an This will help us learn how we can be better…..and do better.  I hope you are able to join us.

The following are optional resources to peruse regarding Jews of Color.

  1. Articles and Podcasts


  1. I’m a mixed-race Jew who presents as white. Jessica Krug’s story reawakened my impostor syndrome. Rabbi Eric Woodward, September 10, 2020


  1. Wholly Jewish – Podcast Transcripts from Union for Reform Judaism

What do we all have in common? We all live – and balance – complex and nuanced identities, that, when braided together, make us wholly ourselves – and “Wholly Jewish.” Join April Baskin, the Union for Reform Judaism’s former vice president for audacious hospitality, as she speaks with Jews of Color who share their experiences, insights, and how their identities enrich and create a more vibrant Jewish community. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Android, or get the RSS feed.

  1. We Are Family: Rethinking Race in the Jewish Community | Rabbi Angela Buchdahl |Yom Kippur 5781/2020, Sep 28, 2020, Video 19.38 Minutes.


  1. Dancing between Light and Shadow – Increasing Awareness of the Impact of Covid 19 Disparities on Jews of Color  By Yavilah McCoy, May 21, 2020, Electronic Jewish Philanthropy (eJP)


  1. For this Black Jewish leader, George Floyd protest movement shows some Americans finally get it By Alix Wall, June 25, 2020, Jewish Telegraphic Agency


  1. Jews of Color and the Policing of White Space, Posted by Rebecca Pierce, May 29, 2020


  1. Wrestling with Whiteness SooJi Min-Maranda, June 15, 2020, Jew School.


  1. Jewish Multiracial Network – Please review these checklists, which may help us to reimagine the possibilities for greater racial equity at TAO.

    Privilege Checklist


  1. HOW INCLUSIVE ARE YOU? ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT for Jewish social justice organizations
  2. Presentations

ALEPH- SooJi Min Maranda, CEO of ALEPH presented a Diversity Panel July 14, 2020

Below were the panel speakers and SooJi herself is a Jew of Color. We hope to have Sooji speak at a future TAO Wisdom Class.

Rachel Faulkner is the National Jews of Color and JWOC Marching Organizer at Dimensions Educational Consulting. She works to center the voices of Jews of Color within the Jewish community and the greater world. Rachel organized the Jewish Women of Color section during the DC Women’s March and they got to lead everyone for 16 minutes of the march.

Jared Jackson is a Philadelphia-born multi-heritage Jew and the Founder and Executive Director of Jews in ALL Hues. This is the premier organization building a future where a person’s heritage or intersecting identity isn’t a barrier to acceptance or integration. He is an internationally renowned Jewish diversity leader, consultant, trained facilitator, speaker, writer, professional saxophonist, and entrepreneur. Jared is a second year student in the Master of Arts in Jewish Nonprofit Management at the Zelikow School at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, graduating in 2021. He was named one of the “10 Jews that Will Change the World” by the ROI Community, Taglit-Birthright Israel Foundation, and Maariv News.

Arielle Korman is co-founder of Ammud: the Jews of Color Torah Academy and a Jewish educator, performer, and current graduate student in Jewish Studies at Columbia University.

Ammud provides Jewish education for Jews of Color (JOCs) by Jews of Color. They exist to empower Jewish people of color who oftentimes find themselves alienated or sidelined by racism in majority-white Jewish institutions. Ammud allows Jewish people of color to access the Jewish education needed to be empowered members and leaders of the broader Jewish community, creating space to celebrate marginalized customs and traditions, uncover lost histories, and (re)build culture.

Arielle is a member leader at JFREJ (Jews for Racial and Economic Justice) and a member of the organization’s team addressing Anti-Jewish oppression. Arielle is passionate about accessible Jewish education and the creation of spaces for cultural sharing and deepening community.

Equity- Ammud seeks to rectify a lack of learning for Jews of Color – (Example: Nothing under $400 in NYC to learn Hebrew) It is not accessible if one is economically disenfranchised and many Jews of Color  are disenfranchised. Ammud looks to offer a warm loving safer space to learn. They are inclusive for people with disabilities and LGBTQ.

  1. Survey – We want to continue to hear your input. Thank you, Cecile Dumornay, Flo Marshak, and Brent Schillinger for your input on the survey questions. Rabbi Marc has tweaked the questions and would like to begin to get answers accumulated from our Anti- Racism group, and other active TAO groups (Men’s Clubs, Women’s Spirituality Group and Book Group, etc.).

These are the questions. Please look for the anonymous survey soon on your computer in the following week. If you are not in one of our groups, but wish to participate please email me SLStern99@aol.com by Wednesday, October 21st.

Anti-Racism Survey                                                                                                              

TAO seeks to be a welcoming shul for all Jews. With this idea in mind, a group of members has been meeting this summer and fall to enrich our understanding of the current Anti-Racism issues, share resources, suggest speakers, and contributing to broadening our perspective on the issues with TAO members and visitors interested in the topics. As we focus on the theme of Jews of Color, we want to improve our TAO processes to be even more welcoming to adults and children who are our current or future TAO members or visitors to our shul.

We would be grateful if you would kindly answer a few questions. Some questions will give us a general understanding of your thinking while others will help us more specifically.

  1. We are in the midst of diverse thinking brought to the forefront by protests, abuse and oppression regarding racism of Black and Brown people, and various explanations of equality. What three things are most meaningful to you regarding anti-racism?
  2. In what ways could we work toward unification of the diverse races, so that we can enrich each other?
  3. How can TAO as a community be open to the plight of the Black and Brown community to understanding racism? What changes would you like to see?
  4. How can our faith bring us closer together?
  5. Going forward, what do you visualize in a changed world?

Future Event

  • Who We Are: Identity and Diversity in Our Jewish Community
    Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 4:00pm EST from the Jewish Museum of Maryland
    Speaker: Ginna Green in conversation with Dr. Harriette Wimms

Join writer and political strategist Ginna Green and clinical psychologist Dr. Harriette Wimms as they open this important series on the diversity of Jewish identity and experience. http://jewishmuseummd.org/single/hearing-our-voices-jews-of-color/

Thank you for your participation to make a difference at TAO with love and devotion to our Members.

Sherry Stern

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