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Beth David Statement in Support of No Silence on Race

No Silence on Race is born out of the necessity for inclusivity and racial equity in Jewish spaces. It calls upon the Jewish Community to uphold the tenet of justice and commit to the creation of a truly anti-racist, inclusive and equitable Jewish community.

On November 28,  2022, Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am’s Board of Directors acknowledged that the work that needs to be done to achieve this vision must happen collectively and systemically and committed to the 9 pillars outlined in No Silence on Race’s Open Letter.

Anti-Racism Statement

On February 27, 2022, the Beth David Board adopted an official anti-racism statement for the synagogue.

Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue that strives to be inclusive and create a safe, comfortable and welcoming space for all. We are a congregation that advocates for tolerance, kindness, inclusivity and peace. We encourage everyone to participate, learn, and grow.

We believe this work grows out of Jewish values, and is firmly grounded in our tradition that teaches that all people are created B’tselem Elokim, in the image of God. We must work to ensure a community and a society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. As Jews we are commanded to seek justice, (“Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deut 16:20)) and fighting against racism and discrimination is one important way to pursue a more just world. Anti-racism work and Jewish values go hand-in-hand and are based on our love and commitment to Judaism.

We acknowledge that racism is a societal problem and that we need to listen to those most affected by racism. We will dispel misconceptions, increase sensitivity and confront systemic racism. We will implement policies to ensure equity within our own community, and actively work toward eliminating racism and discrimination in the broader Jewish community. We will identify and challenge the values, structures and behaviours that perpetuate systemic racism and advocate for change that will ensure racial justice and equity in society in general.

We recognize that change begins with leadership. The leadership of Beth David (Board members, Clergy, committee chairs, staff) is committed to participating in anti-racism training and conducting training for the broader Beth David community. We will include anti-racism as a cornerstone of our education, programming and partnerships.

We also recognize that change requires outreach to the greater community to support anti-racism efforts and to respond to antisemitism. We will make connections and create meaningful bridges with Jewish and non-Jewish racialized communities and organizations to provide allyship and form strong relationships.

Anti-Racism Committee

In the fall of 2020, Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am formally created the Anti-Racism Committee to ensure that our synagogue is an inclusive and welcoming synagogue and that we actively address anti-racism issues.

Anti-racism training was implemented for the staff, clergy, Board members, and leadership and subsequently offered to congregants.  We are constantly assessing our synagogue’s progress on becoming an anti-racism organization.  

Anti-Racism Committee Mandate/Purpose

The purpose of the Beth David Anti-Racism Committee:

  • To create an Anti-Racism Statement/Mandate for Beth David
  • To conduct anti-racism education/awareness building - for Beth David members and their children/grandchildren  (Hebrew School, Kadima, USY) - issues should be focused internally first and then externally
  • To build relationships/alliances with other communities
  • To act and create substantive change

Our philosophy

We recognize that taking an anti-racist approach requires us  to scrutinize the systemic racial bias that is endemic within our society and to look within the  culture, policies and practices of our synagogue community to identify and uproot racial biases inherent in our practices and operations. Creating a diverse space is not enough. We must advocate for others to make our world a better place.

We aspire to build long standing bridges and deep relationships with several racialized communities. As a start, we have  prioritized working “within our house” and building relationships with Jewish racialized organizations and communities focused on including  No Silence on Race and Congregation BINA (a community of Jews from India).  We need to do better to ensure that all Jews feel welcome in our synagogue and are committed to achieving this goal. 

As Canadian Jews, we felt compelled to act and reach out to the Indigenous community in allyship and to begin the process of building strong and meaningful relationships,

In the future, we will also develop relationships with other racialized communities.
 

Committee Members:

Corinne Berman - Chair
Linda Friedman
Silvia Lulka
David Lurie
Lynne Lurie
Neeli Moses
Marsha Moshinsky
Michael Rubin
Fleur Samson
Madeleine Sarick
Raizell Slobodsky
 

We invite congregants to join our committee to help us expand and achieve our goals.  If interested please reach out to any of the Committee members or email us at anti-racism@bethdavid.com.

Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am Anti-Racism Statement

On February 27, 2022, the Beth David Board adopted an official anti-racism statement for the synagogue.  Click here to view the Beth David Anti-Racism statement.

Past Programs

Missed one of our fabulous programs?  Click here to see a list of our past programs with links to their recordings.

Resources and Links to Our Allies

Would you like to learn more about racialized communities and the organizations trying to have a positive impact?  Would you like more resources on anti-racism?  Click here to obtain links to these organizations’ websites and to view a list of resources to help you through your anti-racist journey.

Thu, January 26 2023 4 Shevat 5783