Black, Brown, and Beyond: Exploring Issues of Race and Color within our LA Community

Rav Yosef Kanefsky (the most left-wing Orthodox rabbi on the West Coast) emails his list:

Dear friends,

Race relations has been a particularly painful theme in our country’s narrative, and continues to be so right up to today. From Ferguson to Baltimore, to Charleston, the powerfully charged issues of race, justice, and enduring social tensions have played out again and again. As I have mentioned over the last few months, it is vitally important that as religious Jews, we join the national conversation about justice, race and identity, and develop relationships with the African-American and Latino communities right here in our city.

With thanks to a group of dedicated BDJ volunteers, we will be having a great opportunity to address this issue. Now all we need is you!

We will begin with a process of educating ourselves about the experiences of being a person of color in Los Angeles, via:

1) Reading Groups: I encourage you to read the selected articles listed below, and to form small groups for thought and discussion.

2) Community Discussion: Please join us on Sunday, November 22nd at 7:30 PM (Location TBD) in what will undoubtedly be an extraordinary gathering as we host Vincent Jones, CEO and Chief Strategist of Reinvent Communications, and Tunua Thrash Ntuk, Executive Director of Local Initiative Support Corporation. Please save the date!

Also, if all goes as planned, on Shabbat morning of Martin Luther King Weekend, January 16th, 2016, we will be hosting one of LA’s most prominent African-American political leaders. Confirmation to follow!

I am so looking forward to our undertaking this important challenge as a community.

Rav Yosef

Selected Readings
1) Letter to My Son Tanehisi Coates

2) A 58-Year-Old Black Man Reflects on the Death Around Him Conor Friedersdorf

3) Viva Gentrification! Hector Tobar

4) In Years Since the Riots, a Changed Complexion in South Central Jennifer Medina

5) Does Asking White People for Moral Self-Reflection About Race Actually Work? Jesse Singal

6) Class of 2025 expected to be most diverse ever Pew Research

7) Exploring Racial Bias Among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT Pew Social Trends

8) Mapping Segregation New York Times

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Blacks, Bnai David-Judea, R. Yosef Kanefsky. Bookmark the permalink.