(Photo: Molly Kazan)
Clergy, Staff and Lay Leaders Kick Off SEA Change Program

By Molly Kazan, Fighting Antisemitism Manager at Combined Jewish Philanthropies

On Sunday, May 5, clergy, staff and lay leaders across three local congregations came together to kick off the JOIN for Justice SEA Change (Study, Engage, Act) program to organize and tackle racial injustice within and beyond their communities. In partnership with CJP’s Center for Combating Antisemitism (CCA), the program is the first of its kind in the Boston area.

Forty people from among Temple Isaiah of Lexington, Temple Aliyah of Needham and Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley came together to begin a seven-month-long learning process that includes specialized training, coaching and campaigns targeted specifically at issues of racial justice and leadership development. Woven throughout SEA Change is a clear analysis about antisemitism, the importance of addressing it particularly through building cross-community relationships of solidarity, and space to explore how issues of antisemitism and racism intersect, complicate each other and should be addressed together and separately.

Rabbi Jordi Battis, associate rabbi of Temple Isaiah of Lexington, shared her gratitude in saying that “this program is so exciting to us as a way to engage within our community, and as a way to get to meet folks across other communities who are engaged in the work of pursuing justice.”

CJP’s CCA is proud to support this cross-communal effort toward increased allyship and inclusivity within and beyond the participating congregations.