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Racial Justice

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Racial Justice

B’tzelem Elohim

Fighting for racial justice is a top priority for Reconstructing Judaism and is a natural extension of our Jewish values. The Torah’s very first and most central description of human beings is that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim — equally and uniquely in the image of God. This theology was radical in its time and remains radical today, despite the profound truth and simplicity of this claim. Black Lives Matter. The lives of our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) neighbors and fellow Jews of Color matter. It is our obligation to do the holy work of racial justice so that the full humanity of all people may flourish and be fully honored.

Illustration of women advocating social justice
Ayeola Omolara Kaplan, Reparations in Pursuit of Repairing the World

Building Our Communities

Systemic racism degrades practically all aspects of our society, including education, access to jobs and health care, housing, voting and economic advancement, and Jewish communities are not exempt from having benefited from systemic racism. We have an obligation to build the Jewish communities we want to live in. As Jews and Reconstructionists, we must actively tear down barriers to inclusion. Whether they exist out of ignorance or malice or even indifference, we have a moral and religious obligation not just to remove those barriers but to build pathways that lead to inclusion, empowerment and leadership of BIPOC Jews within the Reconstructionist movement and for BIPOC people within our society at large.

Our Commitment to Racial Justice

In 2021, Reconstructing Judaism approved a formal set of commitments to racial justice. It established a central goal of our strategic plan to “join and lead Jewish efforts to dismantle systemic racism and advance racial diversity, equity and inclusion within the Reconstructionist movement.”

Reconstructionist Movement Calls for Reparations and Teshuvah

The Reconstructionist movement has adopted a Resolution on Reparations, making a commitment to “supporting and advocating for institutional, local and federal legislation and policies that specifically address the need for reparations.” 

The resolution is a call for communal and national teshuvah, an opportunity for repentance, utilizing a Jewish framework to speak with moral authority on an issue of profound importance to American society and global efforts for justice.  Continue Reading ->

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