The Beth El Anti-Racism Committee

The Beth El Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) was formed in the summer of 2020 in response to the heightened awareness of injustices that have stemmed from systemic racism.

The ARC’s mission

To actively take part in dismantling and challenging racism by providing and sharing opportunities for learning, action, and growth for fellow Beth El members. We channel the Jewish values of Tikkun Olam, Tzadek, and Pikuach Nefesh to inform the work of this group, as those values support protecting, elevating, and building bridges with people of color and their communities and organizations. Our goals are to educate ourselves and our community about race and the effects and impact of racism, as well as to participate in and develop anti-racist initiatives.


Previous Initiatives

  • 20+ attendees for our first movie discussion on “The Hate U Give” occurred in November 2020.
  • Our first successful first book discussion on So You Want to Talk About Race wrapped up its final sessions in January 2021
  • Second book discussion: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander concluded in May 2021.
  • Third book discussion: The Sum of Us by Heather McGee concluded in December 2021.

Current Initiatives

  • Ongoing collaboration with the Family & Friends Institute
  • Bi-weekly podcast discussion
  • Coming to the Table – groups that promote truth, justice, and racial healing.

Future Initiatives

  • Increased opportunities for anti-racism work both within and beyond Beth El’s walls

Getting Involved

If you’re interested in getting involved with ARC, please contact Lisa Sharfstein, [email protected] or Paul Barkowitz [email protected]. We have monthly one-hour meetings.

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