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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?


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. READ these foundational books on the subject of racism in America.
*Note: The resources that are offered here are done so with acknowledgement of these authors' demonstrated leadership and expertise on the topic of race relations in America today.  Many of these authors offer a wide range of opinions, some divisive and dangerous, on other topics, including Israel and Gaza.  The Temple's inclusion of this specific list of authors and resources should not be construed as endorsement of anything other than the value of the linked resources below to advance the conversation on racial justice in America.  
2.  DONATE:  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.
3. REACH OUT to black friends, colleagues, and fellow Jews and community members 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. After all, our work in congregational engagement has taught us that “it’s all about relationships,” and given time and an ongoing relationship of care and support, white Jews can create healing spaces within our communities. The Temple can also suggest culturally competent mental health providers for our African American congregants if requested.
4.  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.
5. 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. Learn more about our efforts to end mass incarceration, contact our RSJI Racial Justice leader Eric Schwartz. 
6.  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.  Visit our Voter Engagement page for additional information.


RSJI “Backpack Buddies” program:  Volunteers shop, sort, and deliver food each week to underserved children at   
Fred A. Toomer Elementary School (FATE). 
Due to COVID- 19, this program is remporarily on hold.  
If interested in volunteering, please contact RSJI Chair Susan Gordon.
To find other ways to help the Temple support our community, visit RSJI: Public Education and RSJI: Homelessness



There are important questions and conversations to be had with our children.

Let's address the issues of race, particularly how we can raise racially conscious children.
2.  DISCUSS:  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.
  • 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.
3.  MODELING BEHAVIOR 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.
4.  GET INVOLVED - Visit RSJI page 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.
Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784