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, Jeannie Appleman, and David Schwartz.

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

Since 2020, the SEA Change (Study, Engage, Act) initiative has involved seven congregations and 100+ 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 6 months, clergy and lay leader teams from these 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 fill out an application by March 24th; Recruit a team of 12-15 participants, a mix of clergy and staff, existing lay leaders, and other members; and commit to paying a fee of $5,000 – $10,000, depending on congregation size, if accepted.

For more information about the cost of participation and other questions, please get in touch with Jeannie Appleman at, or call her at 516-375-9150.

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 was essential in the creation of this pilot.(You can read Karen’s reflections on SEA Change here.)