Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

The Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group met on July 9, 2021. The members are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) online 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts. The sessions will be held from 5 to 6:30 pm PT on Wednesdays—July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. There is no cost.

We hope others will join in, and specifically, that we can bring together at Emanu-El as representative a group as possible with respect to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, ability, Jewish background, and more. Have any questions? Interested in joining us? Please email Ilana at vicepresident@congregationemanuel.ca.

Stay tuned for a special Emanu-El community facilitated workshop later this fall.

Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

We began our third meeting by recognizing the profound grief, loss and reckoning following the murder of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, and the disturbing discovery of 215 children’s bodies at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We also discussed what the calls from Indigenous communities and leaders for responsibility and accountability mean for our work. Please see the links below: for a letter from Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc on how to support that First Nations Government, interviews with Indigenous leaders, and the Indigenous organizations accepting contributions.

We attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s fantastic three-part REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) series covering how to intentionally build Jewish communities of belonging, to deepen understanding of identities, biases, and much more. We are happy to share the wonderful resources we received, so please reach out if interested! 

We will attend their next 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. We welcome anyone interested to sign up and join us! You can register and see the training series description here: https://urj.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctf-qoqDMsGNBo6nwqk8khKQPpBnprjtU9

Stay tuned for the first community event that we are planning for October, after the High Holy Days.

The group’s fourth meeting will be on Thursday July 8, 2021 from 6:30 – 8 pm. Please contact the office for more information and the meeting Zoom link.

How to support Tḱemlúps te Secwepemchttps://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/How-to-Support-TteS-June-3-2021-v2.pdf
Two excellent interviews on CBC’s The Current with Indigenous leaders Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and Murray Sinclair, former Canadian Senator and former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Indigenous organizations accepting contributions

From our Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group

The Congregation Emanu-El Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group held their second meeting on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Considerable time was spent discussing what is happening in Israel and Gaza, and Rabbi Harry’s email on the recent events. The group addressed the importance of having space to unpack in ‘real-time’ what is taking place, and how to support critical learning opportunities. In this connection, the group began refining their scope and mandate, and focused on education.
As a next step, the group plans to participate in the three-part REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) series, “focused on helping participants to start building stronger communities and transform the ways in which our institutions create meaningful Jewish experiences for people of all backgrounds” offered by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
The first session will occur on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 5 pm PST with the other sessions on the following two Thursdays—spanning May 23 to 29, 2021, which is “Anti-Racism Awareness Week” in the Province of British Columbia. This training is open to anyone, and free of charge. We encourage everyone to participate! Please click here  to register…
The Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group will next meet on Thursday, June 10, from 6:30 – 8 pm. Everyone is welcome. Please email the office for the Zoom link.
“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work,  but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.“-Rabbi Tarfon (in Paul Kivel’s Uprooting Racism 1996).

Anti-Racism & Equity Working Group Update

We are happy to announce that the Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group held its first meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. We have identified ourselves as a “working” group because we recognize that receiving an ongoing anti-racism and equity mandate requires evidence that we are committed to learning and action.

Our first meeting was welcoming and generative, as it was framed around the anti-racism panel the community held last July, and the basis proposed for taking action in Jewish communities was grounded in the pillars put forth by No Silence on Race (https://www.nosilenceonrace.ca/). We had a lively discussion centred on our individual perspectives, our entry points into anti-racism and equity work, our future educational goals, and our desire for events and resources that would galvanize the cultivation of a sustainable, textured, and equitable Jewish community.

We identified several specific initiatives that we anticipate concretizing and sharing with the broader community in the future. The first chapter of Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ (2011) text, Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community was shared as a follow up reading (please email us if you want a copy).

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 6-7 pm on Zoom. All are welcome. If interested, please contact the Office to get on our email list, and receive our Zoom link.

Emanu-El creates Anti-Racism & Equity Working Group

Congregation Emanu-El is proud to announce the creation of an Anti-Racism & Equity Working Group. Interested in joining?
Jewish communities across Canada are being called on to take action and accountability for addressing racism and inequity within and outside Jewish communities (https://www.nosilenceonrace.ca/). On July 28th, 2020, Congregation Emanu-El held a virtual panel titled, “Racism: Understanding the Realities and What We Can Do.” Building on the ideas and discussion brought forward during the panel, we are inviting folks to join the Anti-Racism & Equity Working Group. The group is being proposed as a space in which to learn and organize around what sustainable and meaningful antiracist and equity-based learning and initiatives can look like in our community.
It is hoped that folks who are interested in participating in the group and committed to this work are open to new and different ways of knowing and willing to challenge existing beliefs and assumptions. It is an exciting initiative that we aim to get started with an initial meeting in Feb/March 2021. Please contact Willow (willowallen@gmail.com) or Ilana (ilanasr@gmail.com) if you are interested in joining, and/or if you have any questions or suggestions!