Bnai Keshet (FILE PHOTO)

Leaders at Bnai Keshet are launching a course beginning Nov. 17 on how Jews and Jewish communities can be part of understanding and dismantling white supremacy and racism.

Classes will be from 7:30 to 9 p.m. (or 9:30 if participants wish) on Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16 and April 13. Sign up for the course on the synagogue’s website,

“This isn’t work we are called to do simply because it is the ‘right’ thing to do,” Bnai Keshet leader Noemi Giszpenc said in a synagogue announcement of the sessions. “Our very survival as a Jewish people is bound up in understanding how racism, antisemitism and misogyny are all flavors in the same toxic dish of white supremacy — and then building coalitions to dismantle it. Jewish religious leader Hillel famously said, ‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?’”

The course approaches white supremacy from the Jewish perspective in terms of role and responsibility and asks such questions as, “How do those of us who are white, or white adjacent, benefit from racist structures? How are we all oppressed by them?”

Giszpenc and fellow course creators developed the material in response to feedback from participants in a pilot course last year. The six meetings through April will be the first part of the course, and there will be a second part next year. Teachers include Giszpenc, Bnai Keshet Associate Rabbi Ariann Weitzman, Shana Stein, Barbara Reisman, Ellen Kolba, and Deb Levy.

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For more information, call 973-746-4889 or email the synagogue at