Beth El Antiracism Working Group: 2022 in review

Here are highlights of the activities of the Beth El Antiracism Working Group in 2022.

Showing up for Black-led initiatives

  • Members of the Antiracism Working Group (AWG) attended the grand opening of the Women Empowerment House in Dorchester. Executive Director Stacey Borden spoke at Beth El and the Antiracism Working Group led a household goods drive for Women Empowerment House.
  • Following Borden’s lead, members of the AWG advocated throughout the year for the Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium in Massachusetts and participated in the #NoNewWomensPrison campaign.
  • A member of the AWG helped plan the June 2022 “MetroWest Inter-Faith Vigil Against Hate: Standing with the Black Community After the Buffalo Massacre” vigil in Framingham, and other AWG members attended.
  • The founder of Roxbury United Neighborhoods (RUN) met with the AWG to identify opportunities to share our skills, experience and networks with RUN.
  • AWG members participated in a METCO-sponsored tour of Nubian Square in Roxbury.
  • The AWG organized a Boston Black Heritage Trail Tour for Beth El members and friends.

Leading change in policies and practices

  • A Beth El Antiracism Resolution drafted by the AWG was endorsed by the Beth El Board of Directors. AWG leadership met throughout the year with teams of clergy, staff and lay leadership to identify ways to bring an antiracism lens to all aspects of the congregation’s life.
  • A letter regarding the depiction of Native Americans in public markers in Sudbury initiated by the AWG was sent from Rabbi Josh Breindel and other Sudbury Clergy Association members to the Sudbury Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission. As a result of the letter and follow-up, a community forum on this topic is now tentatively scheduled for Sunday, April 2, 2023 from 2–4 PM in Sudbury’s Goodnow Library Community Room.
  • Children’s books with antiracism themes were added to the Beth El library collection.

Providing programs to the Beth El community and beyond

Offering monthly learning opportunities

Leading book and film discussions