Let’s Talk about Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the Victoria Jewish Community!

December 19, 2021 – The Antiracism and Equity Working Group and Adult Education are excited to announce our first co-sponsored discussion titled Let’s talk about Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the Victoria Jewish Community! on Sunday, December 19th from 6 to 7:30 pm.

Join Sara Yacobi-Harris from No Silence On Race in Toronto and Carmel Tanaka from JQT Vancouver in a community-wide dialogue on the need for diversity, equity and belonging work in the Jewish community. Both speakers are changing the landscape of what it means to be a Jew in Canada and globally. They will share what’s working and what still needs improving on community and organizational levels, in an engaging 90-min presentation and Q&A with you. Bring your questions so we can all listen and learn together in this open forum, and come up with sustainable next steps moving forward.

Carmel Tanaka is a queer neurodivergent Jewpanese woman of colour from Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is a community engagement professional and her leadership initiatives include: JQT Vancouver, Genocide Prevention BC and Cross Cultural Walking Tours. She was named one of Be’chol Lashon’s 7 LGBTQ+ Jews of Color you should know. 




FB/IN: @jqtvan @crossculturaltours

Sara Yacobi-Harris is the founder of No Silence on Race. She is an artist, filmmaker, media professional and community organizer. Sara is the director and producer of Periphery. She holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed) from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

instagram: @nosilenceonrace

website: nosilenceonrace.ca

Summary of event details

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

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.