The Anti-Racism Group at Holy Blossom Temple was formed in June, 2020 in response to painful racist actions witnessed both in Canada and the United States, and the outpouring of demonstrations throughout North America calling for concerted action on the part of governments, communities, and individuals to deal effectively with this existential problem.
Our Sages debated the correlation between education and action.
קידושין מ׳ ב:ח׳
נשאלה שאילה זו בפניהם תלמוד גדול או מעשה גדול נענה רבי טרפון ואמר מעשה גדול נענה ר”ע ואמר תלמוד גדול נענו כולם ואמרו תלמוד גדול שהתלמוד מביא לידי מעשה
This question was asked: Is study greater or is action greater? Rabbi Tarfon answered and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. Everyone answered and said: Study is greater, but not as an independent value; rather, it is greater as study leads to action.
To contribute to the elimination of racism in Canada by enhancing our capacity to know ourselves, the roles we might unwittingly have played in maintaining an inequitable society, and the role we might play as anti-racists in focused actions to achieve an inclusive society.
Our Mission is to learn and then to act by:
Providing learning opportunities and resources to examine the privilege we have, the unconscious biases we may hold, and strategies for addressing those so that we become well prepared (or better able) to be anti-racists in a mutual quest for justice
Reaching into our synagogue community to current Holy Blossom families of colour to learn and understand their experiences of racism within the synagogue and in the broader community and together figure out “next steps”
Recommending resources (online and written) for those interested in learning about the history of Canadian and American racism, the lived lives of Black Canadians, Indigenous peoples and other racialized groups, issues around policing, and other themes where there is indicated interest
Building effective partnerships so that we are better able to contribute to concerted actions, working together to achieve mutual goals and dreams.