We re-dedicate ourselves to Temple Israel’s history of engagement in the fight for racial justice in greater Boston and the United States with a multi-year strategic and community-wide effort to pull our congregants together and challenge ourselves to participate. We will seek to learn, build relationships, and change in ourselves and our families, our community and in the world around us. We know that in the words of the Pirkei Avot, “We are not expected to complete this work; but neither are we free to abandon it” and in the words of Rabbi Hillel, “If not now, when?”
The Criminal Justice Reform branch of the Racial Justice Initiative aims to improve people’s lives and make the world a more equitable place for all. We will educate Temple Israel members, including ourselves, about some of the complexities of the criminal justice system with at least two questions in mind: What are the injustices in the system adversely affecting African Americans? What can and should we do about it? We know that Temple Israel cannot make a difference on its own. Therefore, we will partner with other groups to accomplish our work. We will take two approaches: Tzedek and Chesed. The first will involve advocacy to change the law to make it more just and effective and particularly to reduce the adverse impact on African Americans. The second will involve working directly with those affected.
Dialogues on Race and Racism
Current and Past Educational Initiatives
Close to 100 Temple Israel members gathered for a safe and honest conversation about race and racial injustice.
Explore the journey from slavery to mass incarceration with a screening of Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th,” which the Boston Globe has called “among the very best movies of 2016” and “probably the most important.”
“Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson is “a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice – from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.”