Anti-Racism Working Group

We Stand for Racial Justice

“Justice, justice you shall pursue…”

Building on our Jewish commitments to social justice and solidarity with other historically disadvantaged groups, Beth El’s Antiracism Working Group mobilizes clergy, staff, leadership and congregants to move toward becoming antiracist individuals and an antiracist congregation.

What we do:

  • We challenge practices, policies, programs and norms that reinforce white Ashkenazi dominance at Beth El.
  • We advocate for a congregation-wide culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and belonging.
  • We create opportunities for the Beth El community to learn about racism, antiracism, white supremacy, and the experiences of Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, including those who are Jewish.
  • We advocate for Beth El members to move from learning to antiracist action.
  • In partnership with other organizations and faith communities, we organize and participate in actions aimed at achieving racial equity and justice in and outside our congregation.

Join Us!

Our book group will reconvene on September 19 from 4:00–6:00 p.m. (Zoom link) to discuss Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race — a handbook on how to have intelligent, productive, empathetic conversations about race (discussion facilitated by Karen Blumenfeld).  We also will discuss how to move ahead with the book group in 2021-22. Bring your ideas — everyone is welcome, even if you haven’t read the book or participated before. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man will be the topic on October 17.

To join the Beth El Antiracism Working Group email listserv or for more information, email Karen and Judy at


See our resources page for definitions, useful links and book lists (both general, and titles being discussed by the Beth El Antiracism Working Group).

Antiracism Profile: Elaine Barnartt-Goldstein

Beth El member Elaine Barnartt-Goldstein and Kimya’s House director Stacey Borden in front of Kimya’s House.

Elaine Barnartt-Goldstein led a collection of home goods and financial contributions from Beth El members to support Kimya’s House in Dorchester. Kimya’s House is a residential program for post-incarcerated homeless, predominantly Black, women.

Kimya’s House is “a project of New Beginnings Reentry Services, Inc. It is program designed to support formerly incarcerated women to successfully navigate the overwhelming complexities of reentering society upon their release.” (Source: ) Each woman is expected to stay a year to 18 months, the median amount of time for women’s recidivism, which the program is designed to prevent.

Elaine initiated this home goods drive by reaching out to Stacey Borden, a formerly incarcerated Black woman who earned a Master’s in Social Work in addiction studies and founded Kimya’s House. Thanks to Stacey’s vision and leadership, Kimya’s House will offer peer support, programs in money management, educational assistance, addiction rehabilitation, and other re-entry services as well as room and board. A house in Dorchester has been renovated and is expected to open in Fall 2021.

Elaine collected many items donated by Beth El members including dishes, tableware, cooking ware, lamps, office supplies, rugs and artwork, including some from Africa and the Caribbean.