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Shabbat Tzedek: From Selma to the Present

Reform Jews played a vital role in the fight for racial equality, voting rights, and more. Shabbat Tzedek honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggles of the broader civil rights movement.

Shabbat Tzedek: Celebrating Civil Rights & Social Justice

The Reflect page contains links to materials designed for synagogues and communities to spur learning and conversation about racial diversity, about the deep racial disparities that afflict our society, about how we as Reform Jews can join the struggle for racial justice.

Racial Justice: Reform

Take meaningful action with partners in pursuit of policy change that takes real steps to dismantle structural racism.

The RAC has partnered with Repair the World to create a racial justice discussion guide that raises complex issues and that challenges our vision of a just society. Use this guide as part of a Shabbat dinner gathering.

Worship Tools

These resources can be used to plan a religious service that celebrates the civil rights movement, social justice and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Text Studies

These text studies can be used to consider how the Jewish community’s experience of bondage, slavery and persecution informs its involvement in social justice movements in general and the Civil Rights Movement in particular.

Prayer & Liturgy Materials

This resource packet for clergy and congregational leaders provides prayer and liturgy materials on racial justice and civil rights. Consider adding these to your Shabbat services.

Religious School Resources

These lesson plans can be used to introduce MLK Day or the civil rights movement to synagogue or interfaith community education classes.

Special Webinar - Selma 50th Anniversary

On March 3, 2015, the RAC hosted a special web learning session featuring diverse voices on civil rights and racial justice from the 1960s in Selma to the front lines of the Ferguson movement today. 

Featured speakers

  • Rabbi Richard Hirsch
  • Rabbi Phil Schechter
  • Julian Bond
  • Rabbi Josh Caruso
  • KB Frazier

RAC Reads provides tools to hold group and congregational discussions on social-justice themed books, with a special focus on racial justice. 

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Latest Updates on Racial Justice
Blue and silver stethoscope
Jul 02, 2020|Jacob Greenblatt
Rabbi holding a sign that says "black lives matter to this rabbi"
Jun 11, 2020|Rabbi Jocee Hudson
White womans hands holding a sign in Hebrew and English reading YOU SHALL NOT STAND IDLE UPON THE BLOOD OF YOUR FELLOW and concluding with the phrase BLACK LIVES MATTER
Jun 01, 2020|Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner addresses an interfaith gathering at Selma's historic Reform Synagogue marking the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery.

Al Vorspan, Vice President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, discusses his arrest in St. Augustine in 1964

An introduction to the Religious Action Center and the fight for civil rights

Contact Our Legislative Policy Team

For more information on this issue, contact Senior Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Jacob Kraus at (202) 387-2800.