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S.E.A. Change

Racial Equity Roundtable: Study • Engage • Act • Change

Washington Hebrew and B’nai Israel, a vibrant Conservative synagogue in Rockville, Maryland, have partnered with JOIN for Justice to engage our communities in meaningful conversations, critical education, and collective action to address racial inequity internally and in the broader community.

Together, we will create a model for serving as a unified Jewish voice, amplifying that our values compel us to respond to the call for Civil Rights at this moment in our nation’s history.

We are forming a committed cohort of 50 individuals, half from each congregation. Over the next year, they will study and engage together to act as change agents within our congregations and beyond.

Participants will consider historical and current inequalities in our community and our country. They will learn how to identify the areas of racial justice work that are priorities for our respective congregational communities and will develop the tools to galvanize our communities to work to realize their vision.

Specifically, this initiative will:
  • Create a cultural shift in our congregations that changes the atmosphere and systems around racial justice;
  • Develop the institutions to actualize and operationalize racial equity as a priority;
  • Equip cohort members to understand the underpinnings of racial inequity in the U.S. and specifically in Montgomery County;
  • Help synagogue leadership teams identify and cultivate new and current leaders to shape and own this body of work in our congregations;
  • Build the foundation that enables our congregations to identify and address issues of diversity and equity within our memberships and workplaces.
  • Lay the groundwork for new and existing leaders to work side by side with communities of color to address racial inequity issues.
  • Equip congregants, leaders, and clergy of the two synagogues to publicly express in new ways their Jewish values and work respectfully and effectively with partners across lines of racial and other differences.

Phase 1 – led by JOIN For Justice

November 2020 to March 2021:
Learning Forum

Six online training sessions and three smaller group discussion sessions will cover topics ranging from relationship building to educational components on race and racial equity.


Every effort will be made to adhere to the schedule below. However, unforeseen circumstances may occasionally cause sessions to be rescheduled.

All sessions will take place from 7:00 – 9:00 pm via Zoom

Session 1: November 4, 2020
Session 2: November 15, 2020
Session 3: December 3, 2020
Session 4: December 15, 2020
Session 5: January 7, 2021
Session 6: January 18, 2021
Session 7: February 9, 2021
Session 8: February 22, 2021
Session 9: March 3, 2021
March to May 2021:
Congregational Engagement Campaign

The cohort will receive training and support for a congregational engagement campaign to uncover fellow congregants’ stories and identify areas of interest and visions for racial equity in our communities and beyond.

May to July 2021:

JOIN for Justice will provide additional training and coaching toward action on identified initiatives. The cohort will engage congregational Action Teams to address internal and external change.

Phase 2

Summer 2021:

The cohort will build a plan to integrate the Action Teams’ work into their synagogue community and calendar.

Fall 2021 and beyond:

The cohort will continue to engage in ongoing initiatives, provide leadership, and advise to facilitate ongoing efforts.

Participant Expectations


Phase 1
  • Participate in all educational sessions and training
  • Show up prepared, having read, listened to, or viewed any preparatory materials
  • Be willing to engage humbly, relationally, and creatively
  • Remain open to facing issues that may be uncomfortable
  • Maintain respect for diverse experiences at all times

Phase 2
  • Lead or advise a synagogue Action Team
  • Remain available as a synagogue resource and share expertise throughout the synagogue
  • Engage with emerging joint work between our communities and local communities of color around issues of systemic racism in the region 

Interested? Please click here to apply.

About JOIN for Justice

The Jewish Organizing Institute & Network (JOIN) is building a powerful field of Jewish leaders capable of effectively organizing for justice, both inside and outside Jewish communities in the U.S. We organize because, in the words of Emma Lazarus, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free”—our destinies are bound up as one. JOIN offers a range of consulting and training services to strengthen the leadership and organizing skills of individuals, institutions, and coalitions across the country.

Support the Silent Auction & Local Businesses


The Women of WHC's Silent Auction Committee needs your help!

We're asking each member of the Women of WHC to donate $10 so that we can purchase restaurant gift cards now and help support businesses that are struggling because of the COVID-19 crisis. These small businesses need cash flow now -- and this is an easy way for us to help! The restaurant gift cards will be auctioned at our event later in the year.

We'd like each member to give $10, but of course, donating more is ok too!

Please click here to make your donation

Honoring Our Heroes


As the fight against the coronavirus continues, we would like to recognize those in our WHC community who are working on and supporting the front lines. 

From doctors and nurses to restaurant managers to first responders, we want to celebrate the sacrifices these WHC members are making to help us all cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Please click here to nominate a WHC Hero.

Please contact the WHC Communications Team with any questions.