Jews of Color and Jewish Community Diversity
Wednesday, November 18 at 1pm CST
Stories of Exclusion, Stories of Change: Jews of Color Speak about Moving from Welcoming to Belonging
Sunday, December 6 at 11:30am CST
Jewish individuals, and other Americans are in a moment of potential vulnerability and growth, recognizing privilege and identifying differently. As more and more people realize the need to move from non-racist to anti-racist beliefs and actions, we are witnessing a moment in history pregnant with possibilities.
Amplifying Voices marries internal tshuva, personal pattern breaking, growth and reckoning with a series of programs for artists and thought leaders inside and outside the Jewish community to reflect on race, religion and identity. We invite the Jewish community and beyond into authentic and meaningful conversation designed to move the needle on how we all engage in the world with sensitivity and compassion.
Join Ilana Kaufman, the Executive Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative for a lunch, learn and discussion.
There are an estimated 7.2 million Jews in the United States, and something like 1,000,000 identify as non-white People of Color. However, when we look at almost every Jewish organization and our communal imagery, we see few if any Jews of Color. Framed by the notion that US Jews are part of a multiracial Jewish community, together we will explore the intersection of Jewish community/Identity/racial justice and equity.
Ilana Kaufman is the Executive Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. The Initiative hosts the nation’s first and only philanthropic fund dedicated to Jews of Color. The Initiative’s work focuses on grant-making, research and field building, and community education. Before joining the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, Ilana was the Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay for the San Francisco, Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council. Ilana also served as a Program Officer at the San Francisco Jewish Federation and Endowment Fund.
Ilana’s work has been featured in the books Black Power Jewish Politics, and Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority. She has been featured in the Jewish Times of America and has published articles in the Forward, eJewish Philanthropy and The Foundation Review. Ilana is also a nationally regarded thought leader on the importance of grappling at the intersection of Jewish communities, Jewish identity, and racial justice, and has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Code Switch, and in the series “ELI Talks: Inspired Jewish Ideas.” Her talk titled Who Counts, Race and the Jewish Future has received almost 22,000 views.
Ilana, on the Forward’s 2019 list of 50 inspiring American Jews is a Senior Schusterman Fellow who is passionate about all things at the intersection of Jewish Community/Racial Justice/Jews of Color/Education/Philanthropy. Ilana received her B.A. in Sociology from California State University-Humboldt, and her M.A. in Educational Pedagogy from Mills College.
Panelists April Baskin, Gamal Palmer and Evan Traylor will be in discussion moderated by Candace Manriquez Wrenn about their experiences as Jews of Color and sharing strategies to combat Racism and Anti-Semitism.
Candace Manriquez Wrenn is currently the director and an associate producer for the Marketplace Morning Report, which has an audience of more than 10 million listeners, according to Nielsen Audio. She previously worked at American Public Media’s Marketplace as an associate producer. There, she produced interviews, wrote and edited copy, and edited audio for the national daily broadcast. She has also worked in reality TV and late-night entertainment TV, with the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show. Candace joined the Department of Journalism & Public Relations in 2018. Before coming to Long Beach, she taught at the University of Arizona’s School of Information and in the Maricopa County Community College District, specializing in interpersonal and intercultural communication, collaborating in online communities, and small group communication.
April N. Baskin is the Principal of Joyous Justice Consulting where she provides highly-customized life coaching and diversity consulting and also serves as the Racial Justice Director of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. She is the Union for Reform Judaism’s immediate past Vice President of Audacious Hospitality, and conceived of and is currently hosting the first season of their latest podcast, Wholly Jewish. Before founding and developing the URJ’s exciting leading edge department, she served as the National Director of Resources and Training at Interfaith Family. Dedicated to building a stronger, more inclusive Jewish community committed to social justice, April has spent over 15 years advocating for Jewish diversity inclusion throughout North America in a variety of ways, including facilitating LGBTQ educational trainings through Keshet and writing a thesis about the experiences and identities of Jews of Color in American Judaism.
Gamal J. Palmer’s friends and fans alike hail him as a master mentor, coach, and facilitator of art on account of his ability to help people gain clarity on their business ideas, goals and roadblocks. Growing up in West Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, a neighborhood characterized by a racial and religious diversity that was uncommon in the 90’s, Gamal became skilled at building bridges from a young age. Gamal is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at the Jewish Federation where he is responsible for several leadership programs that include the Community Leadership Institute (CLI), which trains young adults ages 20-40 to be effective board and committee members of Jewish non-profits, and other social initiatives throughout Los Angeles. In 2016 Gamal’s life experiences helping others fused with his love of theater and led him to start Global Eye Entrepreneurs: A non-profit creating pipelines to power for male innovators and businessmen of color. His devotion for social entrepreneurship, along with the unique perspectives informed by his international experiences have contributed to the formation of Global Eye’s authenticity and relevance. Gamal facilitates workshops and presents keynotes on a myriad of topics that cover leadership, diversity, and entrepreneurship.
Evan Traylor, originally from Oklahoma City, serves as the associate director for college engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism, after spending two years as the inaugural URJ presidential fellow for millennial engagement. Evan graduated from the University of Kansas studying political science, Jewish studies, and leadership studies. He is a past NFTY president, Kansas Hillel intern, student member of the Hillel International Board of Directors, and co-founder of the Hillel International Student Cabinet
Participate in a virtual Civil Rights Tour and interactive discussion with an emphasis on the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma with T. Marie King. Moderated by Samantha Dubrinsky.
Samantha Dubrinsky serves as the Levite Jewish Community Center’s Executive Director. Samantha, who graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2011, is passionate about creating, enhancing and serving the Birmingham Jewish and broader communities. After graduating from Troy University with Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Business Administration, Samantha pursued a career in the JCC world. Previously, she worked at the Birmingham Jewish Federation and was selected by Jewish Federations of North America as “A Face of the Future,” as well as a FEREP, a prestigious scholarship program awarded to a small group of young Jewish professionals. Samantha is a Birmingham native and lives about three minutes away from the LJCC with her husband, 17-month-old son and their three rescue dogs.
Tune in to a musical Freedom Seder featuring the Afro-Semitic Experience in celebration of what unites the Jewish, Black, and Jewish-Black communities.
The Afro-Semitic Experience was co-founded by African American jazz pianist Warren Byrd, and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan in 1998. They are a band that combines an eclectic array of styles, sophisticated musicianship, good songwriting, deep grooves, and years of friendship with a simple message: Unity in the Community. Their music has been heard around the United States—the group has performed at festivals, in churches, synagogues, colleges, and wherever people come together to share their love and respect for community. Their performances are celebrations of community and culture that invariably get audiences up and dancing. Their concerts are celebrations where they play great music, tell stories, and offer a positive and meaningful message: Unity in the Community.