Using Jewish tradition and ritual to engage with Black liberation

In the spring of 2018, we challenged Jews around the world to gather in homes, synagogues and communal spaces to spend Shavuot studying the Vision for Black Lives — the Movement for Black Lives’ racial justice policy agenda. The 49-day #Omer4BlackLives led to Shavuot, when hundreds of Jews from New York to Madrid to Jaffa stayed up all night using our #Shavuot4BlackLives Study Guide (link to download) to explore reparations.

About the Juneteenth Seder

Following this #Spring4BlackLives, JFREJ held two revolutionary Juneteenth Seders for hundreds of our members and allies. One Seder was specifically for Black Jews and non-Jewish Black friends and family. The second Seder was for our entire multiracial JFREJ community, along with our partners. Led by Black members of the Jews of Color Caucus, the program wove together stories of Jewish liberation from Mitzrayim and Black liberation from enslavement in the United States. We continued to focus the Jewish community on alternatives to policing and reparations for African-Americans. With reimagined rituals, oral histories, and participatory visioning, the Seder illuminated the distant past and a hopeful future.

In partnership with the JFREJ Jews of Color Caucus, the Black Jewish Liberation Collective continues to organize annual Juneteenth Seders for Black Jews and non-Jewish Black friends and family.