About Race

An Invitation to a Conversation About Race

Dear friends,

We live in an extraordinary time.  We truly are having a “national conversation about race.” Often this phrase is thrown around by politicians trying to make meaning out of some anguish or another.  But I think we can all agree that this time it is different.  Now millions of Americans with white skin seem to have an interest in listening and learning in a sustained way to what is being said by African Americans and other people of color.

As Jews we have an obligation to listen to the voices of those who are suffering, without regard to whether our politics are left, right or center.  When someone in pain cries out “my life matters!” the Jewish soul wants to understand why someone could ever think that their life did not matter.  

So, in the spirit of growth and fellowship I want to invite you to learn with me.  I read a book last year which opened my eyes and reminded me of  history I had ignored or forgotten.  It is called White Rage, by Carol Anderson. I would like you to read it with me over the next couple of months.  I propose that in the coming months we reflect on the book in three virtual gatherings; let us have a congregational conversation about race.

At the first of these gatherings, on Sunday July 12th at 6:30pm, we will watch a lecture by the author of White Rage, Carol Anderson, historian and professor of African American Studies at Emory University.  We will use the second and third gatherings as “reading group” discussions to reflect on what we have read. 

So, again, please join me for these events:

July 12, 6:30pm Watch party of this talk by Carol Anderson | Join us on Zoom, here. 

August 2, 6:30pm Discussion #1 of White Rage | Join us on Zoom, here. 

August 16, 6:30pm Discussion #2 of White Rage | Join us on Zoom, here.

You can purchase White Rage here from Powells here.  

As Jews and as Americans we do not yet know enough; I have faith that elevating ourselves and our world requires first that we understand, and it is in that spirit that I invite you into this venture.  This conversation is one in which I am a learning participant.  I do not hold myself out as an expert or a teacher on these matters.  Since May 26th, when the video of George Floyd’s gruesome killing first surfaced, like so many of you, I have been looking to deepen my understanding of our shared situation.  

Thank you. I look forward to learning with you, 

Rabbi Rose

Looking for a list of Anti-Racism Resources? Please view our list here

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