There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind.
Jewish tradition teaches that the very first human was made from “yellow clay, white sand, black loam, and red soil” – a foundational understanding that we are all one human family.
As we are devastated by the recent atrocities of hate, racism, and violence which are at irreconcilable odds with this fundamental principle, the SJCC is committed to further promoting this understanding in pursuit of justice (tzedek) and respect (kavod). You will see these values at the core of some of our recent and upcoming activities:
- Book Club on Race + Allyship: The SJCC, along with five other organizations on Mercer Island, is hosting a book club in July focused on race and allyship. Open to anyone, we will read the book “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. Each organization is hosting separate book clubs on this book and together we will create a common language and understanding within the community.
- Workshop Series: Working Towards Anti-Racism as a Family: The J is partnering with the ADL and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education for a brand new workshop series for families, caregivers, and children (ages 10+) to reflect on bias, engagement, and activism.
- Early Childhood School teachers and the J Kids team have read age-appropriate books dealing with issues of race, anti-racism, and respecting differences in our Mornings with ECS & Afternoons with J Kids videos.
- In June, we hosted a program with Alan Morinis of the Mussar Institute. We talked about living our values and how at moments like this, we cannot stand idly by the blood of our neighbors. He reminded adult students that in these trying times we can each step back and think about one thing we can do to take care of others and help keep others safe, he also spoke about demonstrating leadership through exemplary behaviors.
- Every class in our Early Childhood School will read an age-appropriate book on respecting differences.
- Our school-age program team will lead conversations during our live program, Afternoons with J Kids.
- Our camp team will sing Oseh Shalom during our live Camp Shabbat on Friday.
- We will invite our whole community to share poetry and artwork that expresses their feelings during this unsettling time. With permission, we will post these pieces on SJCC.org, our social media, and share the works with peer organizations around the community. We know we have been touched by these outpourings of support in times of crisis, and long to express our solidarity in this moment.
- Our fitness instructors will call for a moment of mindfulness and reflection before each of our online classes.
- Our leadership team will have daily conversations on how we will continue to live the SJCC value of Welcoming Everyone in everything we do.
- We will continue to share resources that will help us all learn, discuss, and take action, like this Table Talk created by the ADL for parents and kids, these resources from PJ Library or this book list from Island Books.
Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stroum Jewish Community Center was participating in the inaugural year of the JCC Association (JCCA) initiative focusing on Safety, Respect and Equity. Starting with a two-day retreat in January, the SJCC was reaffirming its commitment to creating a space of safety, respect and equity for all. This was one more way to reinforce our commitment to inclusivity.
We stand against racism and injustice.
We stand for diversity and inclusion.
We stand with Black communities everywhere.