No Silence on Race
No Silence on Race is born out of the necessity for racial equity and inclusivity in Jewish spaces in Canada. Many of the No Silence on Race leaders have shared their stories in Jewish spaces about being Black Jews and Jews of colour. They have written articles and participated in conferences and panels. While No Silence on Race believes that conversation, listening and self-reflection are important first steps to creating anti-racist, inclusive and equitable Jewish spaces, No Silence on Race looks to the entire Jewish community in Canada to challenge ourselves to do more and to envision the path forward. Learn more at https://www.nosilenceonrace.ca/.
The Holy Blossom Temple Board of Directors unanimously voted in favour of the following statement on April 29, 2021.
Holy Blossom Temple Statement of Support for No Silence on Race Holy Blossom Temple supports the work of No Silence on Race and is committed to being actively anti-racist and working to create a more just and equitable congregation and world. We do so as Toronto’s first synagogue with a rich history of tradition and modernity in our religious and spiritual expression.
In order to honour, respect and embrace diversity and the breadth of Klal Yisrael – the Jewish people – synagogues must seek ways to meaningfully connect with those amongst us who have felt unwelcome and excluded. We are strengthened when people from diverse Jewish identities and backgrounds are actively included in Temple life.
Holy Blossom commits to cultivating the leadership of Jews from diverse backgrounds. We support programs that address a full range of Jewish diasporas and histories and we will encourage and facilitate partnerships and solicit personnel to assist us in making this objective a reality.
The next steps of our plan to enact this include:
- Training for staff, lay leaders, and the entire congregation on becoming more actively anti-racist, combating microaggressions, and creating a more inclusive Temple community.
- Ensuring that Temple education programs, curriculum, teachers, and speakers reflect the diversity of the Jewish community, including Jews of Color.
- Enacting the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as they relate to religious institutions.
- Supporting the Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (which was as initiated as part of the Union for Reform Judaism’s JewVNation Fellowship) and the Anti-Racism Group at Holy Blossom to continue our audit of the Temple’s inclusion practices and formulate a multi-year plan to increase inclusion, equity, and anti-racism practices at Temple.
- Ensuring hiring practices align with our inclusion goals and commitments.
- Incorporating a diversity lens in our leadership development and nominating processes.
Through active outreach and self-reflection, we can ensure we are living up to our core values and secure our congregation’s vitality and ongoing role in the larger community. We acknowledge there is still much work to be done, and we are committed to it.
Interested in getting involved in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work or joining our Anti-Racism Group? Email Abigail Nemzer at [email protected]