A Good Time to Talk about Anti-Semitism

The good news: anti-Semitism is now more visible, so it’s harder to deny it and pretend it doesn’t exist. The other good news: we RCers have been discharging and working on anti-Semitism for decades, so we have a lot to contribute to the conversation and to activism.

What have you been discharging on in these past few months as anti-Semitism has been more visible? What have you been doing to help others understand about anti-Semitism and how it functions?

I led a non-RC workshop this past week at Louisiana State University, in the southern part of the United States. As always, I was visible as a Jew while I led and spoke openly about anti-Semitism. For the first time I can remember, a bunch of Gentiles came up to me and told me that they wanted to know more about anti-Semitism, since they were reading about it now in the news. They wanted to know how they could be better allies to Jews.

A few weeks ago, I taught an intensive four-day course for rabbinical students at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Day one was on anti-Semitism. Day two was on internalized anti-Semitism. Day three was on the “hook”—the intersection of anti- Semitism and racism. Day four was on how all of this relates to understanding the Israel-Palestine conflict. It was my best experience to date in teaching full-out [without restraint] our RC understandings about anti-Semitism and how it operates to divert liberation work.

I am committed to Jewish RCers playing a key role now in moving forward a strong understanding about anti-Semitism and linking it to other liberation work. Let’s not be silent, particularly while anti-Semitism is more visible and getting increased attention.

Here are a few questions:

1) What have you been discharging about as the incidents of anti-Semitism (and racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and Gay oppression) have become more overt?

2) What successes or struggles have you had in raising awareness about anti- Semitism?

3) What successes or struggles have you had in linking anti-Semitism to work on other liberation issues?

It’s important to stay connected to each other, particularly now as anti-Semitism is more visible. Let’s not be isolated from each other.

Much love and solidarity,

Cherie Brown

International Liberation Reference Person for Jews

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Jews

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00