KS Racial Justice Initiatives


We know that racially-based voter suppression has a long history in the United States. And we know that it didn’t stop with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964. The Racial Justice Task Force has identified voter suppression as an area of action and learning that we can engage in as a community.
Upcoming opportunities to Learn and Act: 

Racial Justice Film Club
Sunday, February 14
10:30 am
Watch the movie 13TH on Netflix in advance of our discussion and then join us to talk about mass incarceration in the United States. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, in her film 13TH, explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. View the trailer here.

Our Recent Activities:

Voter Suppression: An Interview with Ray Arsenault 
It was affirming to have approximately 200 KS members and members of the greater community Zoom in on January 10 to hear Dr. Ray Aresenault, an award-winning historian and author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, in conversation with Dr. Stephen Whitfield. Thank you to Ray and Stephen for an eye-opening look back at our long history of racial voter suppression.

Get Out the Vote Postcard Goal Met!
We met our goal of 3,600 contacts with registered voters in under-represented communities who have been the target of voter suppression, prior to the presidential election. We sent 1,800 letters and postcards to Georgia voters, in advance of the January 2021 election.

We held a Community Forum on Racial Justice on November 1, 2020, to explore how our members feel and what actions the Kerem Shalom community might want to take. Rabbi Darby and KS member Norma Shapiro, Board member of the ACLU of MA, inspired us with their experiences and words.

The Kerem Shalom Book group discussed One Person No Vote, in December 2020, which presents a historical and contemporary review of voter suppression tactics that have specifically targeted Blacks from the Jim Crow era until today and in our time.

KS members held a 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge.

“We Say Unequivocally: Black Lives Matter”
On August 28, 2020, over 600 Jewish organizations, synagogues, and congregations, including Kerem Shalom, signed this ad in The New York Times stating, “We say unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.” We are proud to join them. Our Jewish community must continue to rise up for Black lives—including Black Jews—with all of our spiritual, political, and intellectual resources.

What can you DO to pursue racial justice?
Learn about what initiatives Kerem Shalom is taking and how you can participate! Click here for details. 

See the Weekly email for Zoom links for programs, and contact with any questions.