Rabbi Tarfon and some elders were reclining in an upper chamber in the house of Nitza in Lod when this question came up: Which is greater, study or action? Rabbi Tarfon spoke up and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva spoke up and said: Study is greater. The others then spoke up and said: Study is greater because it leads to action. [Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 40b - Soncino translation]
As we somberly remember so many other Black lives cut short while in contact with our criminal justice system, we commit ourselves to deepening the work of advancing racial justice. While structural and institutional racism can only ultimately be eradicated through advocacy and action, we must also ensure that those of us who are white take action in solidarity with people of Color in ways that are helpful, meaningful and sensitive to the utmost extent.
- Read Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner’s reaction to tragedies Falcon Heights, MN; Baton Rouge, LA; and Dallas, TX.
- Share a prayer for peace, excerpted from a sermon by Rabbi David S. Widzer of Temple Beth El of Northern Valley.
- Watch a video of Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas calling for unity and healing at an interfaith rally.
- Read "Devastation. Disappointment. Déjà vu. Dallas.," Rabbi Seth Limmer's sermon at Chicago Sinai Temple.
- View the NFTY 2016-2017 North American Board's call for racial justice.
Below are resources detailing some best practices and useful information for white people seeking to be effective allies and activists in the struggle for racial justice:
- “‘We need co-conspirators, not allies’: how white Americans can fight racism” by Rose Hackman, The Guardian (June 26, 2015)
- “White Anti-Racism: Living the Legacy” from Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
- “Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies” by Paul Kivel, adapted from Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Social Justice