Grappling With the Intersections Between Racism and Anti-Semitism

Two weeks ago, 35 young Jewish leaders came together for a powerful workshop exploring the Intersections of Racism and Anti-Semitism. Organized by JOIN’s Alumni Steering Committee, and co-led by Cherie Brown of the National Coalition Building Institute and Dove Kent of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice , the workshop dug into how Jews experience and internalize antisemitism and how it effects our lives.

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Participants (many of whom were JOIN Fellowship alumni) gathered for a full and eye-opening weekend. Perhaps most powerful was how the facilitators led with hope rather than despair.  Participants were able to deeply share and connect thanks to that leadership. The workshop brought to the surface how Jews might fight racism by revealing that we must also be fighting for ourselves and our own liberation, to be able to deeply ally with other oppressed groups and fight for justice for all.

Participant Marisa Turesky (also a 2014 JOIN Fellowship alum) shared this about her experience:

I have been so lost in thought grappling with white guilt that I have actively refused to make my Jewish identity something visible to myself. This workshop gave me a space and a community that I trusted, allowing me to think critically about my lived experiences and my family’s history from a strictly Jewish lens. After all, how am I supposed to make change in others’ communities if I don’t fully understand my own? I was both shocked and frightened as I began to consider how the behaviors and actions of my family, close friends, and myself might manifest from anti-Jewish sentiment over the generations. Our intimate conversations elucidated fears and anxieties that I have with my own secular Judaism.  I might never have been willing to feel so deeply had I not been so lovingly challenged by facilitators in the earnest space created.

We were at maximum capacity for this workshop and had a sizeable waiting list. If you’re interested in attending a workshop like this in the future, please add your name to this list.

This program was supported in part by a Young Adult Innovation Grant from Combined Jewish Philanthropies.  We are grateful to Combined Jewish Philanthropies for this support.

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