JMN advances Jewish diversity through community building and empowerment with Jews of Color and Jewish multiracial families. We envision a time when Jewish racial/ethnic diversity is fully embraced in American Jewish life.
You can “like” our Facebook page to see retreat pictures and video! Sign up to join our the Jewish Multiracial Network community today! Join the conversation, events, and our community and we hope to see YOU at next year’s retreat! (Date to be announced in the coming weeks.)
Thank you to everyone who made the retreat as special as it was! Each JMNer brought their full presence and an eagerness to learn and be open to meaningful and transformative conversation. Special thanks goes to:
- Housing Coordinator Kalycia Watson,
- Transportation Coordinator Linda Rosenblatt,
- JMN Board Member Chava Shervington,
- Religious Coordinator Kaleb Shervington & spiritual leaders JMN Board Member Cantor Shira Batalion and Isaiah Rothstein, and
- Special thanks to Retreat Coordinator Lynn Berkley-Baskin
To make a tax-deductible DONATION to JMN today, click here.
Excerpts from JMN Retreat Welcome Letter from Retreat Coordinator Lynn Berkley-Baskin
“I had a revelation on the way to our new retreat center today. I am a white woman who married a man of color. The relevance of where we are is more than significant; it’s primal to my life today. As we passed the signs to Gettysburg and Antietam, I felt chills. The thoughts of treacherous battles of our American history—what they meant then, now, and how it is relevant to me. Then it dawned on me…how ironic is it that we, JMN, are meeting on the grounds where battles about equality, dignity, and a way of life were fought? Those battles consumed more lives (second only to WWII) than any other American war in history—600,000 people! With all its historical relevance, the Civil War has symbolic and shared meaning to JMN. Awareness of inequality fostered a rise to vision. Shared vision saturated the culture, and then, action to change. JMN mirrors these attributes, and here, at Capital Retreat Center we walk with mindful hearts on the same grounds that carried forth that effort—an effort that, although different in its action, inspires hope for our Jewish community because the Civil War did change the consciousness of a nation.
So many of us are new to JMN this year, including me. I, probably like you, have a passion for seeking communal equity. My family is interracial. We have weathered scars left from hurtful marginalization. We recognize the subtleties of disproportionate privilege, and we talk about it. We write about it. We learn and teach about it. JMN is special. It has definite diversity components represented by no other normative Jewish organization. We range from the darkest skin tone to the lightest. We strictly adhere to Halacha and we are atheists. We are LGBTQ and everything in between. We have all the body types represented by our humanness. We are socially privileged and underprivileged. We are educated to varying degrees. Some drive, some don’t. We have more cultural exposures within our diverse family than most have in their whole lives. We don’t even agree about the interpretations of Judaism. Ahhh, but therein lies our strength.
The Jewish values of equality, repairing the world, being stewards of our world, and wrestling with thoughtful provocative questioning of right and wrong is what JMNers share. We are invested people who permeate a consciousness beyond the status quo of our society. Due to our inquisitive culture we are game changers. We are committed to diversity inclusion, to unearthing perspectives not seen by the majorities, and instantaneously devoted to those who meet our eyes with theirs nodding an unspoken understanding of our walk through sometimes rough terrain.
JMN works toward that often unspoken integrity, and as the JMN leadership continues their work to advance Jewish diversity through empowerment and community building with Jews of color and multiracial Jewish families, we will have to remember to focus on those very areas where compromise, though incredibly difficult, leads us to the greater goal of shared community. This retreat does that. If we can focus on our shared values in JMN, we can truly shift the perspective of an entire Jewish community.”