Black-Jewish Relationship

Recommended Reading

Marc Dollinger, Black Power, Jewish Politics, 2018.

An insightful analysis of the strengths and challenges of the Black-Jewish relationship over the decades down to the present day.

Eric Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness, 2006.

The author examines the complicated relationship of the American Jewish community to ‘whiteness.’ In particular, he looks at the ambivalence of the American Jewish community to assimilating into the general culture, how that relates to being identified (or not) as ‘white,’ and how this ambivalence impacts our relationship with the non-Jewish Black community

Other books we found very helpful:
  • Terence L. Johnson and Jacques Berlinerblau, Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue, 2022
  • Jonathan Kaufman, Broken Alliance, 1988
  • Paul Berman (Ed.), Blacks and Jews, Alliances and Arguments, 1994
  • Jack Salzman (Ed.), Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and Jews, 1992
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs Toolkit for Strengthening Relationships with Black Communities (JCPA)

The JCPA is the national hub of the community relations network of which Seattle’s Jewish Community Relations Committee is a part. (PDF)


1619, 1654, 2021: Jews and Racism,,

Marc Dollinger, Seattle Limmud Festival, January 25, 2021


Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, 2020.

Focuses on the high points of the Black-Jewish Alliance during the Civil Rights Movement era and touches briefly on the tensions that have challenged the relationship before, during and since that time

Spike Lee’s Black Klansman, 2018.

Spike Lee has often portrayed Jewish characters exploiting Blacks. But, in this film, he tells a story about a Black policemen and his Jewish partner who collaborate to infiltrate the Klan. It feels like a reachout  from Lee  to the Jewish community when the Black officer tells the Jewish cop that they share a common enemy: white supremacy

Racism in America

A comprehensive bibliography on this enormous subject is beyond our scope. Here are some recent books and articles we found especially helpful:

Recommended Reading:

  • Nikole Hannah Jones, The 1619 Project, 2021.
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, 2020.
  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Sons: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, 2010.
  • Abraham Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, 2016.
  • Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law, 2017
    How systemic housing discrimination led to the wealth gap.

For a dissenting view:

John McWhorter, Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America, 2006.


Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations, The Atlantic, June 2014.

Restorative Justice

Recommended Reading:

On Mass Incarceration:

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 2010.

On Restorative Justice:

Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice

The seminal handbook on the concepts and applications of Restorative Justice.

Danielle Sered, Until We Reckon

An excellent summary of the core ideas of Restorative Justice.

On Re-entry

Bruce Western, Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, 2018.


Since I Been Down

Gilda Sheppard’s documentary challenges our definition of justice by focusing on a group of inmates determined to create paths to education and healing from within their prison walls. It features the story of Kimonti Carter, sentenced to 777 years in prison for his role in a drive by shooting, who went on to become a teacher, mentor, and inspirational racial harmonizer while serving his time.

 Antisemitism and Racism

Recommended Reading:

  • Deborah Lipstadt, Antisemitism: Here and Now, 2019.
  • Jonathan Greenblatt, It Could Happen Here, 2022.
    Documents the work of the Anti-Defamation League in combatting antisemitism and racism.
  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, 2020.
  • Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, 2019.
    The author maintains that America could learn from Germany about how to confront a dark past.
  • Deborah Lipstadt, Antisemitism: Here and Now, 2019.


Eric Ward, Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism, The Public Eye, Summer, 2017.


Exploring hate: How antisemitism fuels white nationalism | PBS News Weekend
Explores the roots of white supremacy in antisemitism.

Each month, learning Torah with my colleagues in this Black and Jewish Beloved Community is a revelation.
Rabbi Burt Visotzky
My work with the multi-faith team has been some of the most inspiring I have done in my career. This is a committed group of people from so many walks of life joining together to pursue equity and justice for some of our most marginalized communities.
Audrey L. Covner