At the heart of the values that most of American Jews hold dear is a deep and abiding commitment to human rights and racial equality. Our community and many of the Jewish institutions at the time were supporters of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Today, we need to build from our history and not rest on the past. Even though some Jews are active in contemporary racial justice work, the community often harkens back to past history, rather than to current events.
Today’s situation is different; there is an intersection of issues both domestic and international that often puts a strain on the relationship—especially regarding Israel. While the Jewish community is not monolithic by any means, on these issues, the majority of American Jews still see strengthening and expanding civil rights as righteous and necessary work. How can we adapt and grow relationships that are partnerships, that ask and answer the tough questions raised by both communities, and that build new and present ties, not simply live on past accomplishments? This call will be the starting point of a conversation that we hope to continue within the network and the broader Jewish community moving forward.
Join April Baskin, Vice President for Audacious Hospitality of the Union for Reform Judaism; David Bernstein, President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; and Jennifer Langton, Grants Manager of the Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund for a conversation about civil rights and the Jewish community.