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Beth Israel Reads                                               

The Black and Jewish Coalition:  Where did it go? Is it important today?

Beth Israel Reads’ facilitated discussion of Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue, is coming up on Sunday, February 19, at 1pm.  Registration is open to everyone.

It was the stuff of legend, an alliance unlike others.  It commanded a unity of purpose and focus that sparked willing sacrifice:  loss of property, stature and reputation, livelihoods, and life itself.  And then, like so many alliances punctuated by profound differences, it ended in acrimony, blame and sometimes disdain.

What triggered the end of the Black and Jewish “Grand Coalition” of the 1950s and 1960s?  How did it suffer such an ignominious end?  Should we care?  Is this question relevant today, almost a quarter century into the next century?  Is a rapprochement possible, or is it even important to try?

Today, the two communities seem to be farther apart than ever before, and each is challenged by its own scourge:  rampant anti-semitism and intransigent racism.  Why aren’t Blacks and Jews united in resistance against the perversions of white supremacy and the alt-right who rage against the Great Replacement Theory—that delusional fever dream that Jews are plotting and underwriting the systematic usurpation of the power and privilege of white people by Black and mixed-race people and immigrants. 

Could the Black and Jewish communities unite to resist this insidious blather more effectively, which unfortunately is rarely as humorous as the Jewish space laser ridiculousness?  This question is made more immediate for the Jewish community as racial diversity grows within our own ranks, a reality that compels us to look at the relationship between Blacks and Jews and examine possibilities for the future.

In Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue, co-authors Terrence L. Johnson and Jacques Berlinerblau seek “to introduce the reader to the complex and contested history of Jewish American and African American relations in the United States.”  They offer answers to many of our questions, share fresh findings and analyses, and shape a call to action to move this critical conversation forward.

On Sunday, February 19, at 1pm, everyone is invited to join Beth Israel Reads for a facilitated virtual discussion of this book.  Click here to register.  For additional information, contact: deborahtmgp@gmail.comBeth Israel Reads is the continuing book discussion series sponsored by the Social Action Committee of Beth Israel Congregation.

Sat, June 3 2023 14 Sivan 5783