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Creating Radically Welcoming Communities

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On June 30, 2021, Rabbi Sandra Lawson (she/her) led a racial justice workshop called Creating Radically Welcoming Communities. This workshop was part of a series of racial justice workshops called Looking within for Communical Change, organized and produced by Philadelphia’s Center City Kehillah. Reconstructing Judaism proudly co-sponsored Rabbi Lawson’s workshop with the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia and the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia. Rabbi Lawson is director of racial diversity, equity and inclusion at Reconstructing Judaism.

In this workshop, Rabbi Lawson addresses the question, “What do our Jewish texts and values say about welcoming others into our communities?” In the workshop, Rabbi Lawson refers to a source sheet, which you can find here

Please click the photo of Rabbi Lawson below to watch the Workshop. 

Rabbi Lawson works with senior staff, lay leaders, clergy, rabbinical students, and Reconstructionist communities to help Reconstructing Judaism realize its deeply held aspiration of becoming an anti-racist organization and movement. In her role, Lawson is developing a series of anti-racist policies and trainings for the organization and its affiliate members. She also serves as a mentor to rabbinical students.

The 2018 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate is one of the first African American, queer, female rabbis. The thought-leader has consciously sought to alter the perception of what a rabbi — and the rabbinate — looks like. In 2020, the Forward named Lawson to its “Forward 50” proclaiming her a “truth teller.” She is also the founder of Kol Hapanim – All Faces – an inclusive, Jewish community that is relevant, accessible, and rooted in tradition, where all who come are welcomed and diversity is embraced.

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