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Jewish Community, Race, and Social Justice with Ilana Kaufman


Ilana Kaufman’s talk, “Jewish Community, Race, and Social Justice” will be presented free and open to the public on Tuesday, November 5 at 7pm. The event will be held in the Educational Conference Center of the School of Social Work (1080 S University Ave). She will discuss the intersection of U.S. Jewish identity and race, as animated by modern movements for social justice. Informed by community pain-points such as Jewish communal reactions to the Women’s March and the Movement for Black Lives Platform, Kaufman will explore notions of anti-Semitism, community and movement-building, and how to effectively partner with groups despite some fundamental disagreements and tensions.

Ilana Kaufman is the Executive Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative. Kaufman’s work aims to draw attention to those in the Jewish community who have diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, namely non-white and non-Ashkenazi heritage, or of multiple racial and ethnic identities. These individuals, many of whom identify as Jews of Color, have historically been underrepresented in our Jewish institutions and largely invisible in Jewish demographic studies. Through the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative, Kaufman develops more accurate demographic information about how many American Jews of Color there are and how to create more inclusive Jewish communities. She focuses on grantmaking to programs that support Jews of Color, research and field building, and community education.

The event is generously sponsored by the Jewish Communal Leadership Program in the School of Social Work, Trotter Multicultural Center, Michigan Hillel, The School of Social Work Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and LSA Diveristy, Equity, and Inclusion.

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