ARC OF CHANGE
Anti-Racism Education & Action Program
“We are in a moment of heartbreak, and it can also be a moment of hearts breaking open. We can make use of that tenderness to deepen relationships. We can dream and vision a more equitable future, rather than a return to the old normal.”
– Yavilah McCoy, Dimensions
What is the Kehilla Community Synagogue Arc of Change?
The Kehilla Arc of Change is a year-long, intensive anti-racism program that engages leaders across the Kehilla community to reflect, learn together, plan, and implement institutional practices and changes to build our community in alignment with our values around racial equity and anti-racist organizational change. This new Arc of Change is part of Kehilla’s existing Belonging and Allyship project, which launched in 2017 to address white supremacy and racial justice internally within Kehilla, at all levels of our organization and community.
The goals of the Arc of Change include for Kehilla to:
- be a place where Jews of Color experience belonging, and are able to bring their full selves into the community. This includes building our capacity to support the experiences of children and youth of color.
- be a place for white people to do the work they need to do to recognize, understand and actively challenge white supremacy both in U.S culture and within Kehilla.
- [Our third goal is currently being revised and will be re-posted soon, along with a reflection on the need for revision.]
Who is leading this program?
Our work will be facilitated by DIMENSIONS Educational Consulting, which is a Jewish-, women-, and people of color-led organization that provides training and consultancy in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our lead facilitator will be Yavilah McCoy, the founder of Dimensions, and a nationally-recognized Black Jewish leader. She is also the keynote speaker at our February 21 fundraiser, We Rise: Building an Anti-Racist Jewish Community.
Kehilla’s Arc of Change Initiative will be guided by a racial justice Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Team that includes Kehilla staff, clergy, board members and community leaders. This 15-member DEI Team is nearly 50% People of Color.
Care is being taken to ensure that Black, Indiginous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices and experiences are centered at every step of this initiative, and in every committee and sub-group, as well as other representations of the diversity of our community including gender, class backgrounds, ages, sexual orientation, and abilities.
Who is eligible to participate?
These trainings are specifically intended for those currently leading in a wide variety of ways at Kehilla, or for those interested in leading — and who commit to use this training to build anti-racist community and practices at Kehilla, in the groups/areas where you lead. Space is limited to 25 people per Working Group (that’s how many can fit onto one Zoom screen) which puts a cap on the total number of participants. We may receive more applications than we can accommodate, and therefore, we regret that we may not be able to accept everyone who applies. If you would like to participate in Arc of Change, and are currently leading at Kehilla, or would like to, please consider applying!
All participants should:
- Commit to actively engage in uprooting white supremacy within the Kehilla community
- Take responsibility for applying learnings to at least one specific aspect of the Kehilla community and institution.
- Commit to participating in the full schedule of training sessions, meetings, and work (see below)
- Bring a curious mind and open heart; be willing to hold discomfort and challenge themselves to question assumptions and learn together
- Be willing to communicate with respect, and to support leadership of our facilitators
What will we do?
Through training sessions, homework, and Working Groups, Arc of Change participants will:
- Develop a common understanding of racial equity in practice across membership and leadership.
- Increase the capacity of all Kehilla members to act thoughtfully and with accountability in multiracial and multicultural relationships by clarifying and addressing biases and increasing anti-racism skills
- Support the leadership and communal engagement of members of color including children and youth of color
- Expand current inclusion and welcoming strategies to center uprooting white supremacy work throughout organizational practice, by developing a collaborative approach to community building that has explicit commitments to racial equity.
- Apply a racial justice and equity lens to institutional systems, initiatives, projects, and long-term strategies
Participants will be organized into six Working Groups, based upon identity or role in the community:
- People of Color (Anyone who identifies as a Person of Color and a member of the Kehilla community)
- Youth Education (Parents, teachers, youth, allies to young people, others connected to Kehilla School, and those with DEI experience in other youth education settings)
- Institutional Leadership (Board of Directors, Staff, Finance and Generosity Committees)
- Spiritual Leadership (Spiritual Leaders, Musical Prayer Leaders, Spiritual Life Practices Committee)
- Committee Leaders (Those taking leadership on Kehilla committees)
- Community Educators (For people interested in reaching a broader Kehilla audience and learning to lead anti-racism trainings and programs for members of the Kehilla community not engaged by other working groups.
What is the time commitment?
We ask participants to commit to:
1. Participate in the entire training series, which means four training sessions – each made up of an all-group training and a facilitated Working Group. Expect to spend 4-6 hours for each training session – sometimes spread over two days:
a. Training #1 – Sunday, March 14 in the morning and at yet to be determined times in the afternoon. Two Working Groups will be scheduled for the following week at agreed-upon times
b. Training #2 – Wednesday, May 19, 5:00-7:00pm & Sunday, May 23, times during the day to be determined
c. Training #3 – October – days and times to be determined
d. Training #4 – November/December – days and times to be determined
2. Complete reading and/or action assignments before and between training sessions
3. Participate in small-group meetings between training sessions, dates to be determined
4. Commit to taking actions as we apply learnings from these training sessions to the Kehilla community
If you have questions about any of this, feel free to reach out and we can help you think it through.
What does it cost?
Please read this section thoroughly as you consider how much you will pay in program fees.
People of Color and Kehilla staff will not be charged for participating in the Arc of Change, but please make sure to register!
In the words of Kehilla’s POC Organizer, Ruthie Levin: “Systemic racism has left People of Color, and particularly Black people, behind in terms of access to wealth, so waiving participant fees for this program is one way Kehilla can offer a small measure of reparations – to honor that BIPOC folks have not had the same access to wealth. We see this policy as part of our learning and repair process as a community.”
The actual cost of the program is $545 per participant, and the sliding scale for registration fees is $150 – $1000. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds.
About the sliding scale: This program has a sliding scale so that people with different amounts of resources can pay according to their resources. Kehilla wants all people to have equitable access to this critical anti-racist work. This means that we need people who are able, to pay above, or well above, the break-even amount. And your participation is the most important part of this process. If cost is a barrier, please pay what you can and join us! If you are reasonably-well resourced, please consider paying near the high end, to compensate for those who have fewer resources.
We are also seeking philanthropic support to underwrite some of the costs, and you can also consider making an additional tax-deductible donation beyond your participant fee. Thank you!
How do I register?
DEADLINE EXTENDED: People who are interested should complete and return the online registration form no later than noon on Wendesday, February 10.