As a facilitator and implementer I am inspired to:
- employ open mindedness
- encourage communities to self-define
- allow for fluidity
- maintain a strong framework and context
- embrace usefulness of critical analysis of history
- have awareness of what’s happening intellectually and energetically in a space
- strive to not automatically impose my own biases and ideas
- acknowledge implicit power structures
- don’t assume homogeneity within or across communities
- think expansively about how community is defined
- engage thoughtfully with technology as a factor that both disassociates within and across communities via speed and isolation and also creates the opportunity for a different type and scale of community building and engagement
Antisemitism & AntiJewish Oppression with Hadar Cohen / adults of various faiths (Abrahamic House) (2021)
This session is grounded in a global racial justice framework that understands Antisemitism in the context of other forms of oppression. Since Jewish people have been around for so long, the evolution of antiJewish oppression has changed. And many of the words we use around “who are Jews” are older than Jewishness itself. Some of the topics we explore include: definitions of Antisemitism; Who is Jewish and the diversity of race and religion within Jewishness including the ways Jews have been racialized; Antisemitism both inside and outside of Christian Dominance; internationalized Antisemitism and Jewish trauma as it shows up in multi-faith spaces; and how to show up well for Jewish people.
Building Multi Racial Democracy Campaign School with Graie Hagans / adult (Bend the Arc) (2020)
This five session political education training explores the history of settler colonialism and white supremacy in relationship to white nationalism and Antisemitism. Each session is designed for two hours including some relationship and culture building, political analysis, and space to practice. Additional topic areas include: AntiBlack racism within both the Jewish community as well as broader settings; racial capitalism and the relationship between economics and democracy; civil rights and/vs. civil liberties; and notions of safety as the fit in with policing and the demand to defund the police.
Are You Really As Open Minded As You Think You Are?/ high school (Youth Celebrate Diversity) (2019)
An exploration of biases, stereotypes, and examination of the cultural “operating systems” that code how we understand ourselves, and our world. Small group activities unfold everyday examples of conscious and unconscious bias, and stereotypes, and strategies to address them. Topics include: Implicit biases as pervasive, even as people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges, and discussing how implicit biases do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stances we would explicitly endorse. Additional engagement with the incredibly complex systems of our brains, and discovering how implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned through a variety of de-biasing techniques. The aim isn’t to eliminate all biases (that’s impossible!), but to try to interrupt them so we can act more often in ways that line up with our values. We can’t interrupt them if we can’t see them. The action to take is to train ourselves to notice ourselves and what we’re operating with in the service of shifting the cultural operating system.
Are Jews White? Yes. No. Maybe. And, Why it Matters / adult (Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning) (2019)
This daylong session explores where white assimilation fits into Jewish identity construction in the United States and is grounded in these key concepts: Racism in the U.S. IS real à not negotiable; The work of undoing racism is multilateral (intellectual, emotional, creative, spiritual); History Matters à we must understand our own and each other’s history; Understanding where white Jews fit into U.S. structures of oppression; Not all oppressions need to be the same to understand that they serve the same purpose; Multiplicity of Judaisms & Ashkenazi Dominance in the U.S
Religious Difference / middle school (Bosque School) (2018)
How do we make sense that we live in a country where there is said tobe a separation of church and state,and that the US isn’t a religious country, but all the days our post office and courts and DMV offices are closed Christian holidays – what does that mean? Are we honoring everyone’s holidays equally if we’re closing shop on some and not others? Is there one group that has more privilege? In this session we explore how some of the holidays we celebrate in the U.S. seem to be both religious AND American – like Christmas. For example, there are many people who celebrate Christmas, but don’t identify as Christian. Our country has a complicated history, and it’s important for us to learn about each other, and each other’s faith. Part of that is look at where we aren’t treating all faiths the same, even when we are telling ourselves we are — and get curious about this contradiction so we can connect more meaningfully and respect each other more.
My work as a trainer and facilitator is framed in 3 key notions:
Postmodernism which examines who is left out and who is excluded, and doesn’t presume a singular monolithic perspective. Modernism seeks to standardize through building overarching culture. Postmodernism prioritizes a fluid, complex system of cross informing cultures.
Hybridity which is created by confronting competing ideas about what community is and how community operates – and works with the assumption that complexity is always present, necessary, and useful.
Subaltern perspective, which recognizes that some community space is excluded from larger community, and limited politically because they don’t have grounds to advocate, and that including subaltern perspective opens and informs the process of organizing.
Want to know more about the trainings and workshops I offer and/or discuss customizing facilitation for your needs? Contact me here for more information.