The work of undoing systemic racism calls to our ethic of tikkun olam, repairing the world. What do we do? How can we act responsibly? Undoing systemic racism will be challenging, but as Rabbi Tarfon reminds us in Pirkei Avot 2:21, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”
As a small start, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has created this web page for the community that will be updated regularly. There are a multitude of Jewish and non-Jewish resources and many ways to become engaged. What we have compiled is a starting point. Our goal in providing resources and action items is to facilitate the necessary and sometimes uncomfortable conversations and, eventually, be together in anti-racist work.
(The views and opinions expressed in all linked materials are those of the content creators themselves and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.)
- Watch: What’s Being Done? Racial Equity Work in Washington State
with Dr. Bernal Baca, Dr. Tiffany Lamoreaux, and King County Council Member Girmay Zahilay (May 3, 2021)
- Watch: The Myth of Race, Debunked in 3 Minutes
This brief video provides a snapshot of race, its historic origins, and how we understand race as individuals and as a society.
Vox, March 31, 2016
- Watch: What Does Systemic Racism Mean? Just Consider Your Neighborhood with Abby Brockman
This session from Seattle Limmud 2021 explores systemic racism through the history of urban and suburban American development that set certain communities toward upward mobility while categorically denying this possibility to others.
Limmud, January 17, 2021
- Read: Bryan Stevenson on How America Can Heal by Ezra Klein
In this edited transcript, Bryan Stevenson calls on Americans to face our history as it relates to race, acknowledging that reckoning with truth is fundamental to reconciliation and making lasting change.
Vox, July 20, 2020
- Read: Far More Unites Black and Jewish Americans than Divides Them by Ethan B. Katz and Deborah Lipstadt
The authors draw similarities and distinctions between the fight against antisemitism and racism and explore some of the sensitivities around Black Lives Matter and Israel that can pose challenges to some Jews from joining the movement.
July 18, 2020, CNN
- Read: You Don’t Have to Choose Between Black Lives Matter and Israel by Carly Pildis,
This article outlines the history behind the dilemma some Jews feel around engaging with Black Lives Matter as it relates to Israel, explains the diversity of views within the movement, and argues that people can support racial justice while supporting Israel.
The Forward, June 10, 2020
- Read: 25 Charts Showing How Systemic Racism Functions in the U.S. by Shayanne Gal, Andy Kiersz, Michelle Mark, Ruobing Su, and Marguerite Ward
This article presents numerous charts that provide evidence of the existence of systemic racism in America, from unemployment to lack of representation in positions of power to income and wealth inequality.
Business Insider, July 8, 2020
- Watch: American Segregation, mapped at day and night
This video explores the statistics of segregation in homes and workplaces.
Vox, Feb. 18, 2019
- Watch: Ally vs. Co-conspirator
In this interview excerpt, author Bettina Love articulates the difference between allies and co-conspirators in the fight for racial justice.
C-SPAN, March 19, 2019
- Read: Zionism Is Liberation: How We March and Shout Black Lives Matter by Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Executive Director of JCRC/AJC Detroit
This piece articulates the relationship between BLM and Zionism and the shared values of liberation and freedom informing these ideologies.
The Jewish News, June 15, 2020
- Read: The Four “I”s of Oppression, adapted for use by the Chinook Fund. This piece articulates four different kinds of oppression—ideological, interpersonal, institutional, internalized—and the myriad of ways they impact us.
- Read: Definition & Analysis of Institutional Racism, Solid Ground. In addition to its definition and explanation of institutional racism, this analysis provides specific statistics from King County.
- Read: Black Lives Matter Fact Sheet from Jewish Federations of North America, Israel Action Network, updated 2020. Provides more detailed background about the intersection of BLM and concerns about anti-Israel attitudes.
- Listen or Read: What Systemic Racism Means And The Way It Harms Communities
On NPR’s Morning Edition, Noel King speaks with Ijeoma Oluo about how systemic racism manifests in our daily lives and what a world without systemic racism would look like.
July 1, 2020, NPR
- Watch: Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies
Daryl Davis shares his personal journey and approach to addressing interpersonal racism by increasing contact with people who hold hateful views, founded on the belief that building understanding undermines ignorance and fear that are at the core of hate.
TEDx Naperville, December 8, 2017
- Watch: Black Lives Matter: A Conversation on Being Black and Jewish in This Moment, July 15, 2020 (1-hour webinar.)