Despite having intellectual mastery of the functions of racism, many of our movement spaces cannot dismantle racism within their own ranks because behaviors shift attitudes more than attitudes shift behaviors.
(From the Course Description.)
by Yehudah Webster and Rabbi David Jaffe
Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Orientation: Jan 31 and Feb 7; (then classes every other week: Feb 14 & 28; March 14 & 28; April 11 & 25; May 9 & 23).
This course is for you if you are a:
- Member of a Jewish community or group that cares about racial justice and is looking for a way to integrate this concern with Jewish spiritual practice.
- Racial justice activist and in need of spiritual nourishment.
- Racial justice trainer, organizer or educator looking to add Jewish spiritual wisdom to your toolbox.
- Leader of a Jewish community or group that cares about racial justice.
To dismantle racism in our society at large and in each of us, we need to make both a systemic change as well as do the inner work to change our habits of mind. Habits of mind are changed most effectively through practice. Mussar is the Jewish spiritual discipline designed to integrate the head and the heart through daily practice. In this ten-session course, we’ll delve into the synergies between anti-racism practice and Mussar, exploring how this ancient Jewish wisdom has an important role to play in the urgent contemporary challenge of dismantling racism.
This is a pilot program. Participants will be asked to respond to a survey and speak to an evaluation team member. We are joined by a cohort of congregations to learn this curriculum. Other congregations are Bnei Jeshurun in New York City, Shir Tikva in Winchester, MA, Repair the World and the Nefesh community in L.A. Our cohort is one way of continuing the work we did in October with Edot.
Rabbi David Jaffe is the Founder and Director of Kirva-The Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project, which integrates Jewish wisdom with the work of social change. He is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. He teaches Mussar and other forms of Jewish spirituality widely throughout North America and Israel.
Yehudah Webster is a community organizer and political educator who works to ensure the Jewish community remains committed to the fight for racial justice and collective liberation. With an analysis of unconditional/revolutionary care, Yehudah facilitates anti-oppression trainings and offers organizational consulting, developing unique programs to bring pitted against communities together. As a board member for Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, he supports the police reform campaign and the Jews of Color Caucus, organizing and leading meaningful political actions infused with Jewish ritual and moral grounding.