The recent murder of George Floyd has rocked America and served as a harsh reminder to us all: Racism in America is, tragically, alive and well. As a Jewish community, we cannot stand idly by. Join Jewish Federation for a three-part webinar series to launch this important conversation in our community.
Our first session addressed the topic of Understanding Yesterday, starting with a look at the work of Rabbi Joachim Prinz, one of the great leaders of the civil rights era and rabbi at Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark. A panel of distinguished rabbis discussed the current struggle for racial equality and how our Torah and traditions have given us the imperative, throughout history, to act in the face of injustice. Moderated by Cliff Kulwin, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple B’nai Abraham, with panelists Rabbi Michael Satz of Temple B'nai Or in Morristown, Rabbi Rachel Marder of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, and Rabbi E. Samuel Klibanoff of Congregation Etz Chaim in Livingston.
Click here to watch Session 1: Understanding Yesterday
In our second session we discussed Addressing Racism as a Jewish Community. We heard from a panel of distinguished African American community leaders on racial injustice and its effects on our community. Panelists included Jim Johnson, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of NY, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, candidate for NJ governor in 2017, and currently Corporation Council for the City of NY; Lisa Asare, Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Family Health in NJ’s Department of Public Health with over 20 years of experience as a public health professional; Reverend Dr. Terry Richardson, Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church of South Orange; and Petal Robertson, President of the Montclair Education Association and teaches English and African literature. Panelists shared their own experiences and discussed ways that our Jewish community can be allies in the fight for racial justice.
Click here to watch Session 2: Understanding Today
In our third session, a distinguished panel discussed the unique experiences of Jews of color in our community, including racism, anti-Semitism, and inclusion. Panelists included: Orthodox Rabbi Isaiah Rothstein, newly named Rabbinic Scholar and Public Affairs Advisor at JFNA; Nina Essel, LSW and founder of Balanced Kids, a parent coaching and consulting business; Nolan Edmondson, a 2019 Yeshiva University graduate and student body president; and Sehaye Luks, a rising senior at Montclair High School and part of the Center for Social Justice. The program was moderated by Rabbi Avi Friedman of Congregation Ohr Shalom, Summit.
Click here to watch Session 3: Understanding Today, Part 2
Questions? Contact Mara Gellman at MGellman@jfedgmw.org.