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Special Focus 5781: Welcoming All Jewish Cultures

In 5780, the Social Action Committee's special focus was on Welcoming All Jewish Cultures. 

We know that our Jewishness is not a race or an ethnicity, but that we are a people that includes every race and ethnicity. During this year of physical distance, we worked to heighten our understanding of each other, while working tirelessly to address rising food insecurity in our metro area.

  • Our Audacious Hospitality sukkah learning event spanned teachings about welcoming one another and social justice across the three Abrahamic faiths.
  • Rabbi Juan Mejia spoke with us during Social Action Shabbat about The New Jews: Jews of Color in Latin America and Latin American Jews in the US, and afterwards we discussed how the dominant American Jewish story of the shtetl is only one of many family origin stories.  That evening, we enjoyed a virtual Melava Malka with our brothers and sisters in Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • We were privileged to learn about the Ethiopian Jewish community from Michal Avera Samuel, senior community shlicha in Columbus, Ohio, and former CEO of the Fidel Association, which focuses on the integration of Ethiopian Israelis into Israeli society.
  • Rabbi Gershom Sizomu of the Abuyudaya in Uganda, with whom our Men's Club has a long relationship, joined us over Zoom to speak about how his community is coping with COVID.  The musical portion of the program was postponed to 5782.
  • Syrian-American journalist Hayvi Bouzo spoke about her experiences with refugees fleeing their homes for National Refugee Shabbat.
  • We held our Biannual Social Justice Seder over Zoom in partnership with Alfred Street Baptist Church, featuring Michael Twitty's African American Seder Plate, and gave members the tools to speak up for housing justice in Alexandria.
  • In May, in honor of Asian American / Pacific Islander Heritage Month, our Shabbat speaker highlighted her experience as an Asian American Jew by Choice and we encouraged members to take a virtual nonviolent bystander intervention training in light of upticks in anti-Asian violence
Fri, December 1 2023 18 Kislev 5784