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Racial Justice Resources

Racial Justice Response

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many more, and in light of the subsequent protest and unrest, we have heard many Temple members ask: What can I do to help?

We have compiled resources for becoming a skilled ally. Below, you’ll find resources for reading and viewing to gain a better understanding of factors that underpin issues of race in America. This work is hard, and it takes time and investment. But unless we do this tough work of introspection, the racial factors of our systems that allow for such circumstances will remain invisible and the pain of so many will remain unaddressed.

  1. Join our four-part series beginning in July to examine race together using The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing (Paperback). Email Joya Schmidt ( to express your interest, and we’ll be in touch in the next few weeks with follow-up information.
  2. Find a group of friends and take the 21-day challenge together. Watch, read, listen, engage, and reflect each day for the next three weeks. If you assemble a group, and take up the challenge, please let Rabbi Medwin know at We’d love to support your journey and help to weave your learning into your Jewish identity as well.

Or, if you would like it broken down by how much time you have per day, this link will be helpful for you.

  1. Read these foundational books on the subject of racism in America.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

“Lessons of the 1619 Project” by New York Times columnist Nikole Hannah-Jones (winner of 2020 Pulitzer Prize)

  1. Here are other books more specifically about our response to White Supremacy and Racial Healing:
    Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (Paperback)

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Paperback)
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Paperback)
How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America (Paperback)
How to Be an Antiracist (Hardcover)

  1. Consider donating to Black-led organizations.

The article In Philanthropy, Race Is Still a Factor in Who Gets What, Study Shows also informed our thinking. We believe that how you begin matters and are committed to allocating resources with parity. Part of white advantage and class advantage is the time and freedom, even leisure, to make commitments and invest deeply without counting the cost. But there are costs. Seeing ourselves is necessary if we are serious about racial equity—a world nourished by the gifts of all people. Please make a personal contribution (of any size) to one of these black-led organizations if you have not already done so; they are local or regional and focused on liberation efforts and support for and of Black people. As you remember times you have made a contribution to a historically white organization you were unfamiliar with simply because a friend asked, this is an invitation to practice the same ease and trust for this request.

· Black Mecca Project;

· MAMA Fund

· Southern Black Women and Girls Consortium

  1. Reach out to black friends and colleagues who are in deep pain, frightened, and angry, to let them know you care. Listen and learn. But don’t be hurt if their response is not what you had hoped. Our work in congregational engagement has taught us that “it’s all about relationships”.
  2. Acknowledge and honor the difficult and vital work done by police every day, especially for our Temple. And, also demand a higher level of accountability of local police departments regarding their use of lethal force.

8. Learn to be skilled anti-racist allies who work methodically to change personal responses, economic and business decisions, civic institutions, and systems by joining the Rothschild Social Justice Institute efforts to change policies that perpetuate systematic racism. To learn more about our efforts to end mass incarceration, visit and contact our RSJI Racial Justice leaders Eric Schwartz and John Eaves (contact info at to get involved.

  1. Lastly, vote and make sure others have access to the polls. As election season draws closer, see your inbox for ways to engage in civic action to ensure that people are elected who will contribute to the healing of our country and helping to solve the biggest problems we face.

Preparing for The Days of Repentance: A Journey from Elul to Yom Kippur, following an Anti-Racism Workbook
Sign up now with your commitment to join us for a journey from Elul, the month before Rosh HaShanah, through the end of Yom Kippur, as we dedicate our spiritual journey towards repentance and renewal to examining racism and white supremacy in-depth. You can join as an individual or as a small group for this turbo small group experience. Indicate your interest by sending an email to Joya Schmidt ( and let us know if you have a group or if you would like
to join a group. We will culminate our learning with a special gathering during the Days of Awe, as we find ways to heal ourselves and our world. 

Stand in Solidarity with Our FATE Community 
Several months ago, RSJI started a “Backpack Buddy” program where volunteers shopped for, sorted and delivered food each week for some underserved children at Toomer Elementary School.  We will be supporting these children and their families again this summer and have the following volunteer opportunities:
Weekly shoppers to help fulfill both pantry and fresh items:  list will be provided
Weekly delivery to a centralized location Thursday mornings in the Kirkwood area
Monetary donations to supplement the program
With respect to COVID- 19, we ask that all volunteers utilize masks, wash hands and be cognizant of the least amount of "handling" possible. If interested in volunteering, please contact
The 21-Day Challenge
Take the 21-day challenge linked below. Watch, read, listen, engage, and reflect
each day for the next three weeks. This option is meant to be a self-guided experience alone or with a group of friends. If you assemble a group, and take up
the challenge, please let Rabbi Medwin know at We’d
love to support your journey and help to weave your learning into your Jewish
identity as well.
Or, if you would like it broken down by how much time you have per day, this link will be helpful for you.

Advocate for Change Today
Georgia is one of only four states in the country without a Hate Crimes bill. 
In these times, it is more pressing than ever that we do all we can to correct this injustice.

On Monday, June 15, Georgia lawmakers will return to the state Capitol to complete the last 11 days of a legislative session cut short by Covid-19. We have our opportunity with the passage of House Bill 426. 

The House passed HB 426 on March 7, 2019, with a margin of only six votes. The Senate has yet to give the measure a first hearing. We are asking for your help in
the effort to get HB 426 passed in the Georgia Senate, as is, with no amendments. 
In order to accomplish this goal, we must spread the word.
What we can do: THIS WEEK!

Take Action: Hate Crimes Bill Support Phone Bank
Friday, June 12th | 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Join the RSJI Racial Justice group, along with other RSJI leaders and group members, as we continue to voice our support for the passage of the Hate Crimes Bill, HB426. We will have talking points and phone numbers ready to go. You'll get
to see one, so you can do one (or a dozen!). We'll be there to support one another and cheer each other on, as we engage in the democratic process together, based
on Jewish values. 
Click here to join us on Zoom
Meeting ID: 834 5321 2982    Password: 774794
Join by Phone:+16465588656,,83453212982# US (New York)

Click here to learn of more ways to "Advocate for Change"​​​​​​​

Social Justice Resources for Kids

We know that times such as this brings up important questions and conversations to be had with our children. Below, you’ll find guidance and resources that address the issues of race, particularly how we can raise racially conscious children. As with the social justice resource page, we will continue to post update the information.

  1. Here is a great list of books, shared with us by some of the African American Jewish members of our congregation.


  1. This is a book list for children and teens from Charis Books and More. You don’t have to order the books from them, but they are the oldest feminist book store in the Southeast, right here in Atlanta. ER Anderson, who facilitated our Raising Race Conscious Kids series last fall, works there and has been a trusted advisor. This list has books for children as young as infants (board books) through young adult reading.

  1. For parents, ER suggests these books in particular. The first one may seem a strange choice because it is written by a Christian pastor but in his opinion it is valuable for white people of all faiths to read:

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (Paperback)

White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (Critical Perspectives on Youth #1) (Paperback)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

  1. Time and again, studies show that white children are not taught about race and racial injustice with the same frequency or at the same early age as their peers of color. Parents of white children often struggle to work conversations about race "naturally" into the flow of the day, believing that race, like sexuality or body development is a topic that necessitates a "big talk" in a time carved out from the flow of normal life. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have books around that prompt conversation and answer questions. Reading "diverse" books and cross-culturally is a great place to start. We also believe that one of the best ways to raise healthy, race-conscious white children is to talk to them early and often about racial injustice and racial difference in the course of your daily family life.
  2. Your clergy are interested in helping you with this vital task. Keep your eyes peeled for ways to engage some of these titles in small group discussions with families and clergy coming this summer. Email Joya Schmidt ( with your early interest in this kind of age appropriate conversation.


  1. Modeling is the most powerful way to teach our children about the values we hold most dear. As parents, consider joining one of our RSJI groups. See to browse the groups and contact the leaders of these groups to find out more about the current opportunities to model making the world a better place.
Sat, July 11 2020 19 Tammuz 5780