The Racial Justice Committee at Congregation Tikkun v’Or seeks to support groups and events that are working to eliminate racism in our own community.
Group members publicize and attend community events throughout the year and encourage others to join us.
We encourage all in the congregation to increase their understanding and awareness of the impact of institutional racism on all our lives. A planning group meets as needed, but more importantly, congregants are encouraged to attend community events and participate in activities that support our local communities of color.
Current work includes participation in Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance and support for the First Congregational Church of Ithaca as a Sanctuary Church, providing shelter as needed for undocumented immigrants who are seeking sanctuary while the legal challenge to deportation is in process.
Past work includes:
2016-2017 Beth Cohen and Hallie Mitnick co-facilitated a study/discussion group around the book The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander as part of the Ithaca Community Read.
2015 A congregational book read of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness as well as a speakers’ panel.
Elan Shapiro’s TvO greeting at the Annual GIAC Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on January 14, 2017:
Tikkun V’Or Congregation is honored to have this opportunity to share our commitment to creating beloved community with the amazing people and groups in this room and in this county.
As Jews, we have a history of being enslaved in Egypt, persecuted during centuries of diaspora, and subjected to genocide in the 20th century. This history fits together with a core commandment of our biblical and prophetic tradition — that we act in empathy and in solidarity, with an open house and an open heart, with all oppressed people.
At this moment, when nearly all the fragile gains that “we the people” have made towards a just society are at risk, we dedicate ourselves to a new level of solidarity in our social justice efforts. This new level that our times ask of us, will require much risk and sacrifice — and mutual vulnerability.
This terrifying moment is a call to courage, which is not only about overcoming fear to do what is needed, what is just, and what is right. The concept of courage, in its origins, is about wholeheartedness, about speaking our heart, and following our heart, an act that can unleash the light and the love that alone can help us overcome the darkness and danger we face.
Courage doesn’t come easily in the culture we live in. But we can learn it through practice, and through sharing our stories. And when we practice, when we act together, it can become quite … contagious.
So perhaps, along with our New Years resolves to declutter or get fitter, we can intend to be more brave and creative in joyfully desegregating our lives. It could even be fun.
So I share this prayer with you today: May we grow together from our broken-heartedness in these times to the wholeheartedness it will take to create beloved community, and ultimately, collective liberation. And may we take the risks we need to take to get there together.