Secular Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day & Thanksgiving
This collection offers contextual history of MLK’s legacy, provides frameworks for engaging in conversations and service around racial inequities and advocacy efforts today through a Jewish lens, as well as learning & reflections for your Thanksgiving table.
When Heschel marched with Dr. King, did he know he was paraphrasing the words of Fredrick Douglass?
Our understanding of Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his work is a more palatable version of the story. The Civil Rights Movement was not just an era of peaceful protest, but an era of unrest and upset, an effort to try to break down the barriers of systemic racial inequity in the United States. How does the Jewish community, and non-POC communities, engage in racial justice today? This MLK day text study implores you to do self-inventory of your relationship to race.
This is an updated resource with language provided by Erika Davis.
Explore the disparities within communities of color surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how to take action.
“Jewish tradition implores us that we cannot stand idly by while our neighbors suffer. It is incumbent upon us to contribute, through education and service, to building a more just world for all people.” This MLK Day resource explores the ways that medical racism and white supremacy have enabled structures of systemic racism to prevail throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. What do racial justice efforts look like today? How can we take a page out of Rev Dr. Martin Luther King’s book to create systems of change and break down barriers of inequality?
You’ve begun your anti-racism journey, now what? Explore some next steps you can take in your education.
“Committing to anti-racist work is an ongoing process that will evolve as we move through our experiences. Jewish tradition urges us to continue on the path towards justice.” This resource is a non-exhaustive list of next steps that one can take in their journey. From recommendations to actions you can take, to resources that will help you inform yourself further, this is a document to aid you in your racial equity practices.
Food waste is vast in our society. This Thanksgiving, consider engaging in conversation surrounding food waste reduction.
“According to the United Nations, if we recover all the food that is lost or wasted, we will have enough to feed all those who are hungry, four times over.” We often do not think about how much food is wasted on a daily basis in our country. This Thanksgiving conversation guide provides the opportunity to explore the relationship between society and the food which we do and do not consume.
Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Jewish Community
Facilitating vulnerable conversations can be difficult–and requires practice. Here are some tips to create a brave space in which valuable discussion can take place.
“The American Jewish community is estranged from its own rich history of Jewish diversity.” Through this dinner conversation guide, explore the stories of Jews from various backgrounds, learn about various community members’ stories, and engage in conversations surrounding the importance of diverse voices at our table and in our community.
This guide was created in partnership with Be’chol Lashon, an organization that grows and strengthens the Jewish people through racial, ethnic, and cultural inclusiveness.
Jewish people were heavily represented in the individuals that participated in the Civil Rights Movement, what effect did this have?
The narrative of being slaves in Egypt was one prominently referenced as theJewish obligation for involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. How and where did Jewish people show up during this time, and what effect did it have on both the Black and Jewish communities? This Turn the Tables guide, intended to be utilized in chevruta (partnered learning), walks you through various points of view on this relationship. Explore your relationship to Black liberation through various narratives and discussions.
Thanksgiving is often a time of indulgent eating for many. This Thanksgiving consider taking a look at food injustices in our society and the impact of food insecurity on those who experience it.
“Millions of people are living in hunger in the United States of America. For every given or chosen family that gathers around Thanksgiving dinner tonight, there are many who approach another meal with anxiety and hopelessness.” When expressing gratitude for what you have this holiday season, consider those in your community and across the country who might not experience abundance or even certainty around the source of their next meal. This Turn the Tables Thanksgiving guide discusses the root causes of hunger, who is impacted, and ways to address it.
What role can service learning play in the creation of a more just and equitable world? What action and learning must we participate in to help in such a process?
Jewish tradition teaches that the first human was created from dust of the four corners of the world in order for one to not be able to tell an individual to go back from where they came. Oppression and disenfranchisement exist in our society today and how can we combat systemic injustices through moments of learning? This comparative text study explores our relationship to those in our community that come from different backgrounds, and envisions a world of unity through service.