Perspectives on Black/Jewish Community Relations

On Saturday afternoon, February 6, 2021, Rabbi Susan Talve was featured at an Acharei Kiddush, Perspectives on Black Jewish Relations. Rabbi Talve shared insights from her 40 plus years bridging the Jewish and Black communities of St. Louis. She tied in the current situation in America to the story of Exodus as Moses pled with Pharaoh, in saying, “It will take the suffering of the people in power to change the plague.” She spoke candidly of how the American dream continues to be financed by the new Jim Crow. Talve quoted Toni Morrison in saying “Black bodies are the kettle for the melting pot of the American Dream.” She implored us to use our privilege to make a difference. She advised: collect the data, build relationships/coalitions, and find a lane for your work/ don’t get overwhelmed. She offered three steps: 1. Know your story, 2. Pay attention and show up 3. Question our narrative. She recommended we turn to the Psalms, saying psalms do heal. And Rabbi Talve proposed an uplifting interpretation of Ashrei, saying it means “forward.”