It has been 140 days since the murder of George Floyd outraged a nation.

Overnight, we yet again saw protests and outcries against police brutality, systemic racism, and the murder of George Floyd popping up across America and the world. Jewish organizations both locally and nationally made public statements condemning the same and pledging to look internally to address issues of race and racism.

While it seems that Black Lives Matter is no longer trending on social media or in the news, there are so many discussions happening at our Shabbat tables, in our synagogues and in our organizations. We are looking in the mirror and once again asking ourselves some hard questions: What role does race — and racism — play within our community? As Jews, do we have an obligation to stand up and speak? As Jews, how can we support the Black Lives Matter Movement?

Tony Westbrook Jr.

Tony Westbrook Jr.

Recently, many of us stood, beat our chest, and confessed any sins or transgressions we might have committed over the past year.  As we recommit to a new year striving to be better, we need to continue having necessary, holy, and sometimes difficult conversations. 

You are now invited to join other members of your St. Louis Jewish Community and the Jewish Coalition for Racial Equity for powerful, facilitated discussions on race, racism and bias. As one community we will learn, listen and begin the journey of refuah (healing) and teshuva (repentance). Rabbis from across the region will be joined by national speakers and local leaders.  The conference itself will be held virtually over five consecutive Sunday mornings, beginning Sunday, Oct. 18. There is another option for those unable to join on Sundays — just remember to register and conference leaders will reach out. 

The goal of the conference is to understand the Jewish community’s relationship to race, racism and bias, historically and in the present day.  It is designed to be beneficial for those who have yet to engage and those who have been actively engaged in anti-racism work. All curious, courageous, people are invited to join the conversation that will make us better, stronger and safer.

To learn more about the speakers and to register for the conference, please visit www.jcre2020.eventbrite.com.