SEA Change

Image Description: “SEA CHANGE Study | Engage | Act” written to the left of a swelling wave

SEA Change is a catalyst for congregational racial justice.

SEA Change trains congregations to organize and tackle racial injustice within and beyond their communities. SEA Change includes specialized training, coaching, and campaigns targeted specifically at issues of racial justice and leadership development, led by expert trainers Megan Black, Megan Madison, Jordan Berg Powers, Catherine Bell,  Jeannie Appleman, and David Schwartz.

Since 2020, the SEA Change (Study, Engage, Act) initiative has involved 10 congregations and 150+ individuals from some of the largest mainstream congregations in the DC area — such as Washington Hebrew Congregation (Reform) and B’nai Israel Congregation (Conservative) –, as well as others, committed to the deep work of transformation. 

Over six months, clergy and lay leader teams from SEA Change congregations engage in virtual training and in-person seminars on racial equity and organizing issues. They also lead teams to assess their own congregations’ inclusiveness, build relationships with local community-based organizations led by People of Color, and work across congregations and denominations to act together for justice.  

Requirements: To participate in SEA Change, each congregation must:

  • Complete the application below.
  • Following acceptance, recruit a team of 10-15 participants (largely comprised of lay leaders, along with key clergy and staff)
  • If accepted, commit to paying a sliding scale fee of $4,000-$10,00, depending on the institution’s size.

*We are willing to work with you to make the program affordable for your budget.

For more information about the cost of participation and other questions, please contact David Schwartz at

Apply now

Your SEA Change Trainers

SEA Change has been named among Slingshot’s 10 to Watch!

“SEA Change has made a tremendous difference in our community and it can in yours as well. [It involves] the marriage of organizing – which itself is a key set of approaches that brings new members into leadership and jazzes people about why we do what we do – [and] the intensive anti-racism work that needs to be done. Communities like ours think that we’re a little further than we are; there is work to be done, and SEA Change can help with that work.” -Rabbi Dobb, lay leader at Adat Shalom Congregation

The SEA Change racial equity training led by JOIN trainers at my synagogue has had a very significant impact on the direction of the congregation as a whole. The clergy and Board are doing strategic planning, and because of the SEA Change experience, social justice work will be central to the congregation’s vision going forward.-Laura Loeb, lay leader at Washington Hebrew Congregation

Our participation in SEA Change has been a transformative experience for our congregational community. The shared experience of learning, training, and taking a deep dive into an assessment of race equity within our synagogue has strengthened relationships and provided a sense of sacred partnership that extends into every aspect of synagogue life.”– Rabbi Susan Shankman, Washington Hebrew Congregation

We are grateful to congregational leaders Marla Schulman of B’nai Israel and Karen Herron of Washington Hebrew and their rabbis, whose leadership and collaboration were essential in creating the original SEA Change pilot. (You can read Karen’s reflections on SEA Change here.)