|“Some are guilty; all are responsible.”
– Abraham Joshua Heschel
As a URJ Camp George community, we are committed to the value of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) and are committed to our responsibility as a Jewish community to stand up against injustice in all its forms. We are heartbroken and outraged at the senseless violence targeting the Black community and recognize that systemic racism is a problem not only in the United States but here in Canada and around the world. We acknowledge that we can all do better and intend to look inward to see how we can make long-term and sustainable change while also offering resources that can help our camp community engage in these important conversations.
To our Black friends, neighbours, and valued community members, please know that we see you, we hear you, and we stand alongside you. Taking responsibility and striving to do better is fundamental to our camp mission and what we stand for.
To that end, we want to share some opportunities for our campers, staff, and families to be engaged, with the knowledge that we will continue having these critical conversations and being active participants in standing up for racial justice.
•To our teen community , please join us and NFTY-NEL along with the larger URJ community for a Reform Jewish Student’s conversation on Racism this Friday, June 5 at 3pm EST. Register here
•To our families, staff, alumni, and supporters, we encourage you to connect with your synagogue or greater community this Shabbat to reflect and pray together.
•Please save the date of Friday June 12 at 5:30pm and join us for a Camp George Kabbalat Shabbat where we will reflect on the challenging days that have passed. More information to come.
Below is an incomplete collection of resources that may help you and your family engage in this important conversation. While we are all on this educational journey together, please feel free to share other resources with our community.
Statements from the across the Reform Movement
Canadian Council for Reform Judaism
Religious Action Center
Union for Reform Judaism
Resources for our Families
Round-up of anti-racism resources
Article from the Forward – What We in the Black Community Need from Jews Right Now
Wholly Jewish Podcast
Harper’s Bazaar – how to respond to ‘All Lives Matter’
Lists of relevant children’s books
*Please support independent bookstores, especially those that are Black-owned. Check out A Different Booklist (Toronto, ON), Knowledge Bookstore (Brampton, ON), White Whale (Bloomfield, MI)
Toronto Public Library Book List
PJ Library Booklist
Talking to kids (and everyone) about race
Embrace Race – tips for teaching talking about race
Showing Up for Racial Justice – kid and family resources
Anti-Defamation League – anti bias education
Social Media accounts to check out
Black Lives Matter
The Conscious Kid
Check Your Privilege
ColorLines News and Media
While we as a camp community plan ways that we can create change together in the coming weeks and months, your families can be involved in creating change right now.
Creating change requires resources, and we encourage our families to be involved as much as possible. Here are a few important initiatives which would benefit from contributions right now:
Showing Up for Racial Justice – Toronto chapter
Black Lives Matter
Black Health Alliance
Stand with those marching for justice. FoodShare is partnering with Not Another Black Life to deliver free Good Food Boxes to Black and Indigenous Families who are self-isolating after participating in the #JusticeforRegis March. To support this initiative, head to this donation page and select the “Not Another Black Life” Fund to make your gift.
While this is a challenging time, we draw strength knowing that as a camp community we can continue to learn and push for change.
“Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof.”
(Justice, justice, you shall pursue)
-Dvarim, Book of Deuteronomy
-The Camp George Team