From its beginnings, TischPDX has addressed racial equity; because of the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Color activists, both within and outside of Jewish community, now we see it must be continuously woven into the braid of our work.
As Jews, our tradition teaches us, in the words of Rabbi Tarfon, “it is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it”. Tzedek, or justice, is a central tenet of our teachings, life and culture.
To this end, we collectively affirm:
Black Lives Matter.
As a land-based people in diaspora, we recognize First Nations and Indigenous people as the stewards of this land from time immemorial, and work to affirm their goals.
We commit to learn, grow, stretch, build relationships, make mistakes, practice accountability, heal and collaborate toward racial justice.
As Ijeoma Oluo, author and activist, in her book, So You Want To Talk About Race, exhorts us,
“Act now, because people are dying now in this unjust system. How many lives have been ground up by racial prejudice and hate? How many opportunities have we already lost? Act and talk and learn and f*ck up and learn some more and act again and do better. We have to do this all at once. We have to learn and fight at the same time. Because people have been waiting far too long for their chance to live as equals in this society.”
The reasons why at TischPDX we try to lead with race when we talk about equity:
Racial disparities cause the deepest holes and widest gaps
Racial inequities persist in every system across the country, without exception
Racism can be the hardest to address, fix, and talk about
We can use the same tools and skills to address racism and other issues
Race is often ignored if not called out explicitly
Racial injustice can be divisive, preventing collaboration