This month, the Tucson Jewish Community Center will launch Amplifying Voices, a six-part virtual series designed to help explore the intersectional relationship between Black and Jewish identity and community.
The series will begin Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. with Professors Marc Dollinger of San Francisco State University and Jerome Dotson and Gil Ribak, both of the University of Arizona, in a conversation framed around Dollinger’s book, “Black Power, Jewish Politics.” The panel will discuss significant trends in Black and Jewish communities from the civil rights movement through today.
At multiple points in the series, Black Jews will share their experiences as both Jews and Black people, providing their perspective on how non-Black Jews can be better leaders and allies in the movement to create a Jewish community that is reflective of and welcoming of our inherent diversity.
Over the course of the series, participants will hear from Black Jewish leaders from across the country and world, including: Ilana Kaufman (Jews of Color Field Building Initiative), Gamal Palmer (Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles), Evan Traylor (Hebrew Union College), Candace Manriquez Wrenn (NPR’s Marketplace), Tamar Manassah (Mothers Against Senseless Killings Chicago), and April Baskin (Joyous Justice Consulting).
Participants also will have opportunities to consider their own prejudices and to begin to construct solutions for bringing about a more just world that is grounded in our collective healing, says Jennifer Selco, director of Jewish life and learning at the J.
The series will conclude next spring with a Passover-themed musical seder featuring the Afro-Semitic Experience, a band that weaves together melodies dear to both the Black and Jewish diasporas.
Amplifying Voices is presented by the J, the UA Hillel Foundation, Arizona Center for Judaic Studies at the UA, the Dunbar Pavilion, the Sam Levite JCC in Birmingham, the Safety Respect and Equity Coalition, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, and the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. JCCs and Hillels from around the country are also participating in the program. The series will take place over Zoom, with five out of the six sessions taking place in webinar format.
Participants may sign up for the whole series or only the sessions that interest them. To ensure that cost is not a barrier to participating in this program, sessions are priced at a sliding scale. Community members interested in participating can sign up at https://tucsonjcc.org/amplifying-voices-series/ or by calling the J at (520) 299-3000.