Sep 9, 2020 | Community Relations

*This is a large, ever-changing and diverse topic.  If you have meaningful resources to add, please contact Mara Koven-Gelman.

What to Read


The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Alexander describes the rebirth of a caste-like system in the U.S. that has caused millions of American Americans to be put in jail and then regulated to a permanent second-class status, denying them the rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

Rothstein explains how America’s cities became racially divided through de jure segregation, government law and policy, and not through de facto segregation, which is individual prejudices, income differences, and actions of private institutions.

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

DiAngelo explains the phenomenon of white fragility and why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism.  He describes how the defensive moves white people might make when discussing racism are ineffective and that racism is not restricted to “bad people.”

Black Power, Jewish Politics by Mark Dollinger

Dollinger examines American Jewish political culture and Black Power- inspired ethnic nationalism.  He challenges widely-held beliefs about the black-Jewish alliance and describes a new political consensus based on identity politics.

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi details the entire history of anti-Black racist ideas and their effect on American history through the life stories of five major American intellectuals.  He combats the idea that racist ideas stem from ignorance and gives the reader the tools they need to expose the discriminatory policies and racial disparities in America.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

In his memoir, Kendi helps readers rethink their deeply held, implicit beliefs and personal relationships and reexamine the policies and social arrangements we support.  He guides the reader in imagining what an antiracist society would look like and how we can build one.

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

This picture book for young children empowers both parents and children to combat racism in today’s society.

Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva

In Villaneuva’s analysis of the dysfunctional colonial dynamics in philanthropy and finance, he denounces systems of oppression while advocating for justice.  He draws on Native traditions to restore balance, heal our divides, and provide solutions for fixing the systemic imbalances in philanthropy.


Decolonising the Mind by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Thiong’o’s collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity, while simultaneously summarizing all of the social justice issues Thiong’o is passionate about.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In Coates’ letter to his adolescent son, he attempts to answer questions surrounding America’s racial history and what it means to inhabit a black body.  Coates shares the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Oluo guides readers of all races on how to have honest conversations about race and racism by discussing how to deal with racial prejudices and biases.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

In this young adult novel, 16-year-old Starr Carter’s world is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Kahlil, by a police officer.  His death is a national headline, resulting in protests and pressure on Starr to speak out about what really happened that night. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this novel dives deep into a young woman’s struggle for racial justice.

Price of Whiteness by Eric L. Goldstein

This book documents the uneasy place Jews have held in America’s racial culture since the late 19th century and answers the question “what has it meant to be Jewish in a nation preoccupied with the categories of black and white?”

Caste, the Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson

Beyond race or class, our lives are defined by a powerful, unspoken system of divisions. In Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives an astounding portrait of this hidden phenomenon. Linking America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson reveals how our world has been shaped by caste – and how its rigid, arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today.

What Truth Sounds Like by Michael Eric Dyson

A timely exploration of America’s tortured racial politics that continues the conversation.

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric Dyson

In this Sermon to White America, Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.

Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history.

Articles Specific to the Combatting Racism

Three Things the Jewish Community Can Do Better, According to a Mixed-Race Jewish Professional

Empathy Doesn’t Come with Conditions by Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg

Understanding BLM by Israel Action Network

Racial Justice & Equity by Indianapolis JCRC

Background on “Deadly Exchange” by Israel Action Network

Creating a Space for Conversations about Racial Justice by eJewishPhilanthropy

Jewish White Allyship by eJewishPhilanthropy

Not Free to Desist: An open letter An open letter from Black Jews, Non-Black Jews of Color, and our allies to Jewish Federations, Foundations, Organizations, and Initiatives

Jewish communities are finally paying attention to Jews of color. Here’s the long road to how they got there. by Josefin Dolsten, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The Anti-Semitism We Didn’t See by Jemele Hill, The Atlantic

Oy Vey, Desean! by Larry Platt, The Philadelphia Citizen

Our True Colors by Marra B. Gad, Tablet Magazine

Articles Specific to Housing Segregation


Articles Specific to Jews of Color

What to Listen to


Identity/Crisis Podcast- Hartman Institute

Episode No. 14: American Jewish Communities After George Floyd features guests Ginna Green of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, and Isaiah Rothstein of Hazon with host Yehuda Kurtzer discussing the stake of American Jews in the struggle.

Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist

Discussions on racial disparities, policy, and equality with a key focus on How to Be an Antiracist and understanding how to uproot racism in society and within ourselves.

Seeing White

Fourteen-part documentary series by John Biewen, featuring Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika that looks at where the notion of “whiteness” comes from and why it has led to white-identity politics and police brutality.

Code Switch

Journalists of color host fearless conversations about race and explore how it aimpacts all aspects of society.

What to Watch



A Netflix documentary that explores the history of racial inequality within the criminal justice system.

Just Mercy

A film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School

A documentary confronting the criminalization and miseducation of African American girls that has led to increasing high school dropout rates and increase into the juvenile justice system.

The Hate U Give

Inspired by Angie Thomas’ YA novel, 16-year-old Starr Carter’s world is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Kahlil, by a police officer.  His death is a national headline, resulting in protests and pressure on Starr to speak out about what really happened that night.


A Netflix documentary on Michelle Obama’s life, hopes, and connections with others.

I Am Not Your Negro

A documentary envisioning the book James Baldwin was never able to finish about the personal accounts of the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.


A historical drama film based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.

Whose Streets?

A documentary on how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown led to the uprising in Ferguson.

Fruitvale Station

A drama starring Michael B. Jordan about the killing of Oscar Grant.

American Son

A drama about an estranged interracial couple who reunite to help find their missing teenage son.

The Central Park Five

A documentary about the 1989 case of five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman.

A Class Divided

A Frontline documentary about a teacher’s 20-year experiment in teaching third graders about discrimination.

TV Shows

When They See Us

A Netflix miniseries about the Central Park Five, five teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in 1989.

The Wire

A series about the narcotics scene in Baltimore that tackles key issues such as corrupt public officials, poverty, and drug abuse.

Dear White People

A Netflix Original Series that follows black college students navigating cultural biases, injustice, activism, and politics at an Ivy League university.


This sitcom follows the Johnsons, a wealthy black family L.A., addressing President Donald Trump’s election, police brutality, racial slurs, and social and racial justice.


This comedy series follows the friendship between two black women that touches on social and racial issues of the contemporary black experience.


How to Act

Confessions of the Heart

Over the Month of Elul, before the Jewish High Holidays which encourage individual and communal reflection, take part in Confessions of the Heart, a racial equity challenge offered by Jewish Emergent Network. The challenge consists of 30 days of anti-racism reflection, discovery, action, and transformation through a daily regimen of readings, videos, podcasts, and calls to action through daily prompts and two virtual communal conversations.

Jewish Multiracial Network

Become involved with the Jewish Multiracial Network, an organization that supports Jewish diversity throughout communities via capacity development, community development, community empowerment, and social capital. You can participate by signing up for the JMN newsletter, attending a JMN event in your area, volunteer with JMN, or go to the annual retreat.

Congressional Black Caucus

An organization that is committed to using the full Constitutional power, statutory authority, and financial resources of the federal government to ensure that African Americans and other marginalized communities have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.


Read and discuss Jewish texts for a d’var torah on Racial Justice.



Encourage them to read and discuss books and articles about race.



Register to vote in future elections. For information on how to register to vote, see who is on your ballot, and apply for absentee voting, click here.


Report incidents of racism or antisemitism here:

More Resources

To learn more about Racial Justice, visit these websites:

The Dream Corps

The Dream Corps demands justice for George Floyd, accountability for the officers charged for his murder, and federal legislation for police reforms and commits to building opportunities for Black and Brown communities.


The NAACP’s mission is to ensure political, educational, social, and economic equality and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination.


Dēmos uses research and analysis to assist grassroots organizations in creating solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity.

Brennan Center for Justice

Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan law and public policy institute that works to defend democracy, reform justice, and protect the constitution.

Color of Change

Color of Change creates advanced solutions for racial justice that address the root of the problem. They build campaigns that hold police accountable and change the rules and structures that allow officers to escape consequences.

National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture provides tools and guidance to inspire conversations about race.

Jews of Color Initiative

Jews of Color Initiative is a national effort that strives to build and advance the professional, organizational, and communal field for Jews of Color. It focuses on grantmaking, research and field building, and community education to respond to racial injustice.

Be’chol Lashon

Be’chol Lashon, Hebrew for “in every language,” strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness about the ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity of Jewish people and experience around the world.

The Buffalo Urban League

The Buffalo Urban League works to empower African Americans, other minorities, and disadvantaged individuals to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power, and civil rights.

For more racial literacy resources visit:

Engage in Racial Justice

by Jewish Together

Listen, Learn, & Act

by JCRC of Greater Washington