February is Black History Month and a good time to reiterate some of SHJ’s guiding principles. Humanistic Judaism stands for equality and racial justice. We acknowledge that white privilege is real, and that there is still so much work to be done before society in general—and the Jewish community—is a true level playing field.
The “ashkenormativity” of the Jewish majority in the U.S. has silenced diverse voices for too long, and we are encouraged by the changes finally taking place in the organized Jewish community to raise up leaders who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). We seek them to become leaders in our own movement and follow them in the wider community. This list provides information on organizations giving voice to BIPOC and multiracial Jews, and educating the broader Jewish Community on intersectional Jewish identities:
“JIAH is one of a few independent 501c3 organizations in the Jewish world founded and led by Jews of Color, Multi-Heritage Jews, and allies. Together, we are shifting the narrative to one where intersectionality, dignity, and diversity are essential to our collective future.”
“The Jews of Color Initiative works to build a truly multiracial, anti-racist Jewish community in which Jews of Color can experience joy and reach their full potential and belonging as leaders and community members. To do so requires creating structural and communal support for Jews of Color and expanding the field of knowledge about our community.”
“The Jewish Multiracial Network sets out to nurture and enhance Jewish diversity throughout the community, at large, via capacity development, community development, community empowerment, and social capital.”
“Be’chol Lashon (Hebrew for “in every language”) strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of Jewish identity and experience. Be’chol Lashon brings the historic Jewish commitment to civil rights and racial justice forward into the 21st century. Embracing the historical diversity of the Jewish people and, more importantly, the growing diversity of the community today is the most important step toward securing relevancy in an exciting American future.”