As Shavuot approaches, we are excited for our Jewish communities to immerse themselves in the Vision for Black Lives through our Shavuot for Black Lives Study Guide. This Vision offers a way forward into a different world, which is exactly what Shavuot is about: Revelation. Coming face-to-face with a vision of the world as it could be, and a way towards making that happen. We have constructed the guide to resemble a page of Talmud, with the Vision as the central text, surrounded by Jewish text, and texts by others fighting for racial and economic justice in keeping with the Vision’s platform demands.

We hope you will join communities around the world in digging into this text, studying all night, and finding the sweetness of liberation within.

Join JFREJ for Shavuot for Black Lives on May 19th:

JFREJ will be part of two sessions at Shavuot Across Brooklyn at Congregation Beth Elohim: A 10 PM panel discussion focused on antisemitism and the Left and an 11 PM Shavuot for Black Lives study session. RSVP here to join JFREJ at Shavuot Across Brooklyn!

Linke Fligl* is hosting Shavuot for Black Lives at Isabella Freedman’s sold out Shavuot retreat in the Berkshire mountains! We are sad to say there are no longer spots available for this gathering, but you can email info@linkefligl.com to find out about future gatherings they’re hosting upstate.

Can’t join us in New York? We invite you to bring your friends and community together to study in a home, or at a cafe or community center. We invite you to use JFREJ’s Shavuot for Black Lives Guide in your synagogue, havurah, or minyan; to bring it to people you organize with and to study it with them.

Dozens of JFREJ members are hosting Shavuot for Black Lives events from Queens to Madrid to Jaffa. Look for one happening in your neighborhood. If one isn’t on the map yet, consider hosting your own!

Take time to wrestle, engage, find the sweetness and vision, to find thjfree sharp edges, and to celebrate the possibilities that emerge. What is the world created if we follow the path this vision reveals?

Click here to register your event and get added to our map below. RSVP to julia@jfrej.org to receive the exact location for an event you’d like to attend on the map. Shavuot for Black Lives events are currently scheduled in these locations:

– NYC (Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan locations)
– Stony Point, NY
– Detroit, MI
– Eugene, OR
– Falls Village, CT
– Jaffa
– Jerusalem
– Madrid, Spain
– Montclair, NJ
– Philadelphia, PA

When the Vision For Black Lives was released in 2016, many members of our community had strong reactions to the way that Israel was characterized in the document. Jews of Color in our community called on all of us to remain committed to the Movement For Black Lives, to racial justice, and by extension, to Black Jews no matter what. Since then we have all had opportunities to reflect, learn and wrestle as individuals and as a community — today, we are more ready than ever to nurture nuance and confront complexity. At the same time, our non-Jewish partners have deepened their understanding of our community in all of its complexity and diversity. JFREJ has supported all of that development with our Understanding Antisemitism resource and events. We have also prepared a supplement focused on antisemitism to accompany our Shavuot for Black Lives study guide. We are ready to return to the text of the Vision For Black Lives and explore it with integrity, curiosity and respect.

Work for justice and liberation must be guided by revelation. Revelation we can understand as that flash we feel when we know something is true, that we have encountered something that will shake us up and push us on into a new world. At Shavuot we wrestle with texts that shake us, texts that make us turn our heads around and round again at the ideas presented, our world, our lives, and at where the text prompts us to go. That is the aim of the Vision for Black Lives policy platform. To get us, all, to engage with what Black liberation could look like, what changes it demands, and what new world is possible if we transform this world into one that truly cherishes Black lives.