On the Anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, The Racial Justice Committee would like to share a review of what Bet Torah has done this year in response to this national reckoning with our history and the work we need to do:

1.Formed a Racial Justice Committee to help us educated ourselves and work towards racial equity with a Jewish prospective.

2.Participated in Interfaith Community Prayer Vigil June 2020 in Mount Kisco

3.Just Mercy film discussion June 2020

4. Be’chol Lashon Program on Jews of Color for Teens August 2020

5.I Am Not Your Negro film discussion with Rabbi Brusso and Reverend McJunkin of the Antioch Baptist Church October 2020

6.Awarded a $5,000 UJA grant to target Racial Justice Education at all levels of our Bet Torah community – January 2021. Nursery School used some of these funds to buy diverse baby dolls, family figures and new books.

7.ADL presentation Pursuing Justice as a Multiracial Jewish Community January 12,2021

8.Shared Legacies: The African American- Jewish Civil Rights Alliance county wide film discussion January 19, 2021

9.Film discussion of Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent February 24, 2021

10.Jews of Color: Personal Stories with Lindsey Newman and Hannah Sachs April 13, 2021

11.How to Talk to Your Young Child About Race – Dr. Oliver April 2021

12.Teen Discussion with T. Wise on Jewish Identity, White Identity, White Privilege May 2021

13.Workshops on Curriculum Development for Religious School and Family programming

14.UJA grant seminar on Racial Justice attended by teachers, parents and committee members

15.Bet Torah has formed a larger community initiative with 7 synagogues and 2 Churches to begin the dialogue on Racial Injustice issues

 

Please continue to check out the Social Action page of the Bet Torah website as we continue to plan meaningful engagement for our community,  to enrich our own understanding , promote dialogue and engage in racial justice work.


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Information on the Origin of Bet Torah’s Racial Justice Initiative.

Following the murder of George Floyd,  the Racial Justice Committee at Bet Torah was formed as an offshoot of the Social Justice Committee.  Its purpose is to educate our community on understanding and acknowledging the racial injustice that has been going on for many years and is systemic in much of American culture. In addition, the committee will work to guide us in finding ways to engage in anti-racist activities to fight that injustice.

James Baldwin, well known essayist on the subject of race in America,  once said “It isn’t a racial problem. It is a problem of whether or not you’re willing to look at your life and be responsible for it and then begin to change it”.   The question is why do some people choose to stand up?  It is time for us to decide if we will stand up and take action.

Bet Torah has joined with seven other synagogues in Northern Westchester as well as the New Castle Council for Racial Equity to fight injustice and start a dialogue with our communities of Color. At this point, two predominantly Black Churches have joined this initiative. This is just the beginning and we have much to do.

What can you do? Listen, Read, Watch films.

What else can you do?  Show Empathy. Take Action. Ask Questions. Join a Social Justice Organization. Learn the civil rights movement history.

If you have any questions or want to get involved, please contact Liz Schonfeld or any committee member: Margi Orell, Heidi Rieger, Sharon Pollack, Linda Dishner or Sarah and Jeremy Wien.

 

For more information, please contact Elaine Gloth Merker at socialjustice@bettorah.org or Liz Schonfeld at Lizschon@aol.com.