Want to be an antiracist white Jew?
Join us for an intimate and spiritual deep dive into racial and economic justice, settler colonialism, white supremacy, and Christian dominance in the U.S. through a Jewish lens led by white Ashkenazi facilitators from the Jewish Bridge Project.
Thursdays between March & June 2022
8 Main Sessions (3 hours) every other Thursday (mostly)
9a – 12p PT | 10a – 1p MT | 11a – 2p CT | 12p – 3p ET
7 Optional Discussion Sessions (1 hour) alternating Thursday
9:30a -10:30a PT | 10:30a – 11:30a MT | 11:30a -12:30p CT | 12:30p – 1:30p ET
Significant preparation between sessions (reading, listening, watching, connecting)
|March 3||Session 1|
|March 10||Optional Discussion Group|
|March 17||Session 2|
|March 24||Optional Discussion Group|
|March 31||Session 3|
|April 7||Optional Discussion Group|
|April 14||Session 4|
|April 21||Optional Discussion Group|
|April 28||Session 5|
|May 5||Optional Discussion Group|
|May 12||Session 6|
|May 19||Optional Discussion Group|
|May 26||Session 7|
|June 2||Session 8|
|June 9||Optional Discussion Group|
What is this Jewish Justice Circle: Awakening to whiteness (JJC A2w)?
Using the Jewish values of “Tikkun Olam, Repairing The World,” and deep reflective inquiry, this project aspires to build a bridge to transformational anti-racist engagement. The Jewish Bridge Project offers this Jewish Justice Circle: Awakening to whiteness (JJC:A2w) as a guided process for white Jewish people in exploring whiteness, white supremacy, racism, antiBlackness, antiJewish oppression, ancestral trauma, settler colonialism, Christian dominance and capitalism in the U.S. today. The course facilitates a practice of undoing racism at personal, institutional, and structural levels. The curriculum focuses on teaching historical context, honoring personal (ancestral, somatic, emotional, spiritual) experience, defining common terms within the Jewish justice ethic, and exploring the interplay of antisemitism, racism, capitalism, and white supremacy both within our Jewish institutions and in the U.S. at large. The Jewish Bridge Project embraces the wisdom that living in a less brutal and racist culture benefits all members of society.
Who is this class for?
The short answer:
Jewish white people applying as a duo or small team.
The long(er) answer:
As taught by Racial Equity Tools “to advance racial equity, there is work for white people and people of color to do separately and together. For white people, a caucus provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts. A white caucus also puts the onus on white people to teach each other about these ideas, rather than placing a burden on people of color to teach them.” This circle is designed for people who identify as Jewish and white and are committed to learning and taking action to dismantle oppresive systems in partnership with at least one other person. Supporting each other in small teams as chevruta/accountability study buddies is imperative to countering the isolation and individualism encouraged by oppressive systems. Examples of small teams that have participated include: members of congregations, political networks and organizations, neighbors, co-workers, family members and friends.
This course is created with specific attention to understanding antisemitism, confronting white dominance in Jewish history in the United States, and exploring what it’s like to be a Jewish person in a mostly Christian country. If you want to explore race and privilege in a U.S. Jewish context, and you do not identify as Jewish or white, are not able to find a partner to apply with, or do not reside in the U.S. please fill out the application and we will follow up for further conversation.
Is there homework?
Yes! Before the first session, we ask all members of the circle to engage the entirety of one of the following options:
- The three-part PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion
- The four-part HBO series Exterminate All the Brutes
- Episodes 1-5, and 13 of the Scene of Radio podcast Seeing White
Each week, there will be a mix of articles, videos and podcasts to engage in preparation for the week’s gathering alongside the request that some of the homework be processed with the small teams/chevruta/accountability partners with whom you registered. We provide materials in a variety of mediums to hopefully meet the needs of different learning styles. The engagement we are asking participants to do between sessions is a big component of this offering, and a highly valuable piece of the comprehensive syllabus.
8 x 3-hour Sessions? That seems like a lot!
It is! There is so much complexity of history, culture, and spirit in an honest exploration of racism in the United States. And there is also an abundant landscape of complexity being Jewish in the United States. This course is designed to be immersive and comprehensive, providing space for extensive information sharing, processing, community building, and learning integration which are all key components in understanding the U.S. system of racial oppression and where we sit inside of it so we can participate in dismantling it. Sessions include a mix of experiential and creative exercises to reflect on and engage the content for different learning styles, relevant Jewish/Spiritual teachings to help ground the learning in ritual, and key concept and historical review.
Above is the overview of sessions from our Winter 2021/22 iteration of JJC:A2w and we plan to follow the same structure this Spring 2022. That said, we build and shift slightly each time we run the series to integrate news, happenings, recently released resources and to make space for new insights and learnings we accumulate along the way.
What if I can’t commit to the whole thing?
It is crucial that members of the Jewish Justice Circle: Awakening to whiteness (JJC:A2w) commit to all sessions. We are building a trusting space together where we can all be honest and vulnerable to look into the hidden places we might not have seen before, in ourselves, and in the world in which we live. This can be a sometimes painful and distressing process. Part of starting the course is the agreement to not turn away, to stay to completion. Special arrangements can be made for folks who want to participate and know in advance that they will miss one session. We do understand life is filled with the unexpected and ask all participants to sign-up with the best intention to fully participate.
What do I get if I participate in the Jewish Justice Circle: Awakening to whiteness (JJC:A2w)
- 31 hours of facilitated small group Zoom engagement
- Comprehensive syllabus with a range of resources including readings, podcasts, videos, and learning exercises for use during the course and beyond
- PDFs of all session slides
- Jewish rituals for resilience
- Trauma informed socio-emotional experiential framework and practice
- Connection with a small national cohort of white Jewish antiracists for healing, learning, growing
- Foundational learning and healing tools for organizing your own community
- Access to low-cost / no-cost ongoing Communities of Practice after the series is complete
- Tools to support your personal ongoing white Jewish antiracist practice after the series is complete
- Participation in a growing community of white Jewish antiracists across Turtle Island
- Access to 1-1 or small group coaching with facilitators
Is this an accessible space?
As a part of our commitment to access we:
- Provide captions for all sessions
- Have slides as part of every session
- Support different learning styles with varying exercises and activities
- Ask people to be on video as much as possible and understand we all have different capacities for engaging the camera
- Encourage all participants to use visual descriptions of themselves
- Practice using a combination of “chat” and verbal communications.
- Have a sliding scale (see below for more information)
We craft our space with attention to how people with atypical ways of thinking, communicating, sensing, or moving, can easily navigate this environment, and we want to know about participants so we can adapt to the people in the room. (Thank you to the Never Again Action disability justice team for wonderful teaching and language to support this work.) You’ll see on the application form a place to tell us more about you.
How much does this cost?
We are committed to making this workshop series available to people across class and economic access. To support this commitment, we have devised a sliding scale which aims to take into account both the inequitable distribution of wealth in our society as well as the value of the labor required to offer this workshop. As white Ashkenazi class-privileged people committed to resource redistribution, we will be contributing 10% of gross earnings from this circle to BIPOC-leaders. Prior circles have supported Black Jewish Liberation Collective, EDOT and AMMUD.
We encourage participants to self-select into paying the amount that best correlates to your class position. Here are two resources that we’ve found helpful to understand class in the U.S:
- “About Class” / Class Action, a cross-class group working towards Economic Justice
- “Class distinctions and class brackets” / Resource Generation an organization supporting young people in equitable wealth, land, and power redistribution.
To support deep connection and learning, we are intentionally capping participation at 21 people (one zoom screen.) There are a limited number of spaces available at each level, so we might reach out to you to talk more after you’ve applied.
We do not want lack of access to capital to get in the way of anyone participating in this circle. To dismantle oppressive systems, we commit to bring everyone along. Below the payment-scale we share a bit about each of the payment levels we’ve put forth. There are enough resources in our community for all of us to do the learning and healing needed to dismantle systemic oppression.
|$1800 for the series||Full fee + pay-it-forward|
|$1440 for the series||Full fee|
|$1260 for the series||88% of full fee|
|$900 for the series||63% of full fee|
|$540 for the series||38% of full fee|
|$360 for the series||25% of full fee|
|$0 for the series||All are welcome|
The zero dollar price is for those who struggle to meet basic needs and paying for this workshop would be a significant hardship.
The discounted prices are provided for those who are able to meet basic needs and may have less expendable money due to factors including but not limited to: income, consumer or healthcare debt, and dependents. Please pay at the highest level you can, though it may be a sacrifice, it would not create hardship.
The full fee is the actual cost of the workshop. If you choose a registration price below the full fee you are receiving a discount.
The Pay-It-Forward price is the actual cost of the workshop plus additional funds that go towards supporting participation across class position and access to wealth. This is an invitation to participate directly in JJC:A2w and to support the collective endeavor of learning, healing, and equity.
Here’s another way, a visual way to help you make sense of where you are on the scale.
Payment scale language and visual adapted from Alexis J. Cunningfolk of Worts & Cunning Apothecary
QUESTIONS? If you have any questions (eg: Can I have a payment plan? or, Can I pay at a level not listed above?) please fill out the application and share more about your situation. We want to hear from you.
Application deadline has been extended to Monday February 14, 2022 – Space is limited to 21 participants, and priority will be given to people who apply in pairs or small teams.