June 12, 2020
Dear Riverdale Community Member,
The Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership is working as a team as we strive to play our role in combating racism and prejudice in all of its forms in our society.
In these trying times, we must create spaces to raise awareness and inspire initiatives to address racism in our local and broader communities. After much exploration, and understanding that there are many important action steps to take, we decided that an issue of this magnitude needed a forum for real, ongoing learning and conversation. Even as we are supporting responses from each partner institution, we deeply feel the need to engage as our entire community, and we want to begin by reading a shared text. We are, therefore, creating and facilitating Riverdale community book clubs.
While some may want to simply read and discuss with their families, we strongly encourage everyone to join a group to engage in communal conversations. Book groups will consist of 8-12 people who will read the book of their choice, and they will take place on the platform of their choice.
After a process of discussion and consultation with African American leaders, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo* has been recommended as our first shared text from among an array of important books. While that will be an appropriate read for some, we will also be recommending other books if you and/or your group would rather explore other texts to expand the conversation.
We will send out a form in the coming weeks to help us learn more from you about how we can create book club spaces that will help you most effectively explore and engage these critical issues.
So stay tuned for more information about this and the other initiatives that the RJCP is undertaking to address these times. We hope reading, learning, and sharing with others in our community will lead to more personal and communal reflection and inspire more action toward a better tomorrow.
Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership
*We are aware that some places are temporarily out of stock for this and other books on racism. We encourage you to purchase a digital copy and/or place your orders now for a physical copy so we can ideally begin the groups in a few weeks.