SEA Change

“Like many other progressive Jews, I’ve accepted as real the false narrative that simply being Jewish made me a part of the brotherhood against racial injustice.”

Study – Engage – Act ––> CHANGE

Washington Hebrew Congregation continues our partnership 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 with five other local synagogues, we will respond to the call for equity and justice at this moment in our nation’s history.

We are forming the second committed cohort to study and engage together and 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 their respective congregational communities, and will develop the tools to galvanize their communities to work together to realize their vision.

Specifically, this initiative will:

  • Create a cultural shift in the 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 their congregations;
  • Build the foundation that enables the congregations to identify and address issues of diversity and equity within their 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 synagogues to publicly express in new ways their Jewish values and work respectfully and effectively with partners across lines of racial and other differences.

"I’ve determined that as a privileged, White American, I want to help turn back systemic racism. As a Jew, I feel I must do more than want…I need to take some action."

Phase 1 – led by JOIN For Justice

May to July 2022

Learning Forum

In-person* Orientation and Opening Sessions will allow the group to get to know each other and begin the training phase. Weekly online training sessions and smaller group discussion sessions will cover topics ranging from relationship building to educational components on race and racial equity.


Session 1: Sunday, May 22 in-person* Orientation 2:30-6:30 pm

Session 2: Monday, May 23 in-person* Training 7:30-9 pm

The following sessions will take place from 7:30-9 pm via Zoom

Session 3: Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Session 4: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Session 5: Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Session 6: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Session 7: Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Closing Retreat: Sunday, July 10, in-person* 2-6:30 pm

Phase 2

Fall 2022

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.

Fall 2022 and ongoing


The cohort members will join Action Teams with other WHC congregants and community organizations to address internal and external change. Currently, initiatives include working with Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) and Action in Montgomery (AIM).

Participant Expectations

Training Sessions

  • 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

Ongoing Engagement

  • 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

*In-person will depend on current guidelines at the time

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

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.

“Indifference to oppression is just as dangerous as active oppression. This is an idea that has been drilled into every Jew’s head. If we don’t actively fight against oppression, then we support it…We have to fight against the oppression of African Americans.”

Apply Now

2022 SEA Change Application

The application deadline for SEA Change has closed. Thank you for your interest.