Wilderness Connections

Completion of a second week puts a bit of distance between that first step — still early in the Passover, for those observing — and our position now, out here in the wilderness with so many unknowns. Here are some resources touched on during the past week to consider reviewing more fully.

Organizational Resources

#BLM Haggadah Supplement, 2016. Download this and more from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. JFREJ isbased in New York and focuses on local issues but also provides materials of wide use plus programming that supports understanding Jewish text and ritual in a social justice context. JFREJ

Organizations focused on Jews of Color to explore and support if able:

Ammud provides Jewish education for Jews of Color, by Jews of Color. Many of their programs are accessible on-line now. As a white Jew, I have not participated directly in Ammud’s regular programs, but I have been inspired when their teachers present in the wider world. They also offer an opportunity to stay in touch through their “Ally Circle.” Ammud

Bechol Lashon “(Hebrew for “in every language”) strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience.” Global Jews (Be’chol Lashon)

Edot Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity and Racial Justice Collaborative “works to increase access to Jewish community life for Jewish People of Color (JOC’s) in the Midwest US region through growing Jewish diversity work and centering JOC leadership.” Focus communities: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Virtual programs open to all. Edot

Jews in ALL Hues (JIAH) is an education and advocacy organization supporting Jews of Color and multi-heritage Jews. They aim “to build a future for the Jewish people where intersectional diversity and dignity are normative.” Workshops include “Practical Allyship and Liberation,” and “The Intersection of Racism, Judaism, and White Supremacy.” Jews in All Hues

Jews of Color Initiative works to build a truly multiracial, anti-racist Jewish community in which Jews of Color can experience joy and reach their full potential and belonging as leaders and community members. To do so requires creating structural and communal support for Jews of Color and expanding the field of knowledge about our community. Among other work, this Initiative published Beyond the Count: Perspectives and Lived Experiences of Jews of Color in 2021. Jews of Color Initiative

Commentary and Response

Note, heading into week three:

The biblical Joseph plays key roles in both Genesis and in Exodus, and he is a big part of the explorations in Rereading Exodus Along the Anacostia. Several days last week and a few more to come reference a piece called “Pharaoh Didn’t Know Joseph” found on MyJewishLearning.com. Many of the remarks here are critical of viewpoints expressed in it, so this is just a note of appreciation for the thought-provoking piece.

The commentary was written by R’ Daniel J. Moskovitz, who is now Senior Rabbi of Temple Sholom in Vancouver, BC. It was provided by the Union for Reform Judaism. My Jewish Learning does not usually date their material, but the bio included for Rabbi Moskovitz uses his title from the position he held prior to joining Temple Sholom — a clue that this piece is at least 10 years old.

The piece can be read in full here: tinyurl.com/4d7vpcm3 (or just search at My Jewish Learning).