Using Our Moral Voices to Address Oppression Inside & Outside of Our Jewish Communities

A 4-part training series that will enable clergy to acknowledge their positional power and use their moral voices to address oppression inside and outside of our Jewish communities.

For those of us who are white Jews, the deep, sacred work of looking within ourselves and our communities to better understand how we can be both oppressed and simultaneously oppress others is essential. Together, we will explore the ways we are affected by antisemitism and consider how we simultaneously benefit from the same systems of oppression we are trying to dismantle. This series will help us to deepen our commitment to and capacity for leveraging our position as white antiracists and support the work of creating multiracial, multicultural communities where Jews of all backgrounds can experience belonging.

This space is for white clergy and will serve as a white antiracist affinity space. A white antiracist affinity space is one where white people can process their emotions and deepen their understanding around race and racism, without burdening or causing additional harm to People of Color (POC).

As a note to our esteemed Clergy of Color, the URJ hosts regular JOC/POC affinity spaces. These spaces serve as safe and brave communities for JOCs to come together and be restored, enriched, and affirmed. Please see future opportunities.

This 4-part series is designed to help clergy:

  • Better understand our own identities as white Jews
  • Learn how to recognize the invisibility of "whiteness" (including patriarchal, heteronormative, Puritan/Christian values) that have become normalized
  • Understand how to disrupt our daily acts of "whiteness" (behaviors and actions we may perpetuate unknowingly as they have been adapted overtime and deemed "the standard" but may or may not be useful to our efforts towards creating communities of belonging)
  • Work toward creating communities of belonging, learning actionable steps we can continue and/or begin taking within our own communities and spheres of influence

Enhance your experience by participating in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort

Limited space available, register now!

For those who have capacity and are looking to delve deeper into this work, you can sign up for the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort. Clergy who participate in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort, in addition to attending the 4-part series noted above, will be placed into a small cohort of clergy whom you will meet with for three additional one-hour sessions throughout the series to process and reflect on learnings, work through challenges within your own communities, etc. Cohort discussions will include an experienced facilitator to help guide discussions, provide prompts, and productive agitation.

Your cohort facilitator will schedule your 3 cohort sessions independently with your cohort group. Please note that we recognize that the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort is an ever-evolving program and will differ in structure from the previous years (and in future years). Our intention is to continuously meet the evolving needs of our clergy and our community through practical and relevant programming.

Dates and Times of the 4-part Series and the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort:

For those participating in the 4-part series:

  • Monday, 4/25, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 1*
  • Monday, 5/16, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 2*
  • Thursday, 5/26, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 3*
  • Thursday, 6/16, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 4 *

*These sessions are for all participants of BOTH the 4-part series and the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort

For those participating in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort:

  • Monday, 4/25, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 1*
    • Weeks of May 2nd and May 9th - Individuals participating in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort meet once within this two-week period. **
  • Monday, 5/16, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 2*
  • Thursday, 5/26, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 3*
    • Weeks of May 30th and June 6th - Individuals participating in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort meet once within this two-week period. **
  • Thursday, 6/16, 12-1:30 PM, ET - Session 4*
    • Weeks of June 20th - Individuals participating in the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort meet once within this one-week period. **

*These sessions are for all participants of BOTH the 4-part series and the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort

** Your cohort facilitator will schedule cohort meetings independently with your cohort group.

Have a question?

  • For questions about the 4-part series, please contact Aliza Greenberg at agreenberg@urj.org
  • For questions about the registration or the Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Cohort, please contact Sophie Raim at sraim@rac.org
  • Interested in participating, but cannot attend the spring series? The 4-part series will be offered again after the 2022 High Holidays. Information about the fall series will be made available this summer. If you would like to share your interest in participating in the fall series, please complete this short form.

The Rabbi Balfour Brickner Clergy Program is made possible by a generous grant from Al and Gail Engelberg.

The Union for Reform Judaism supports the Central Conference of American Rabbis' and American Conference of Cantors' standards in determining usage of the titles rabbi and/or cantor in the context of our Movement-wide conferences, programs, publications, and social media platforms. Please see this webpage to determine your eligibility.