JCS, day-school leadership get a lesson in diversity, inclusion


PROVIDENCE – Jewish Collaborative Services’ board members and its new executive director joined up with leadership at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island for a day of diversity, equity and inclusion training.

Thanks to the generosity of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s Micro Grant program, leadership from both boards were able to plan the training with skilled facilitators. The retreat was held at the school on a recent Sunday.

Two trainers came from Avodah, a national organization whose mission is to develop lifelong social-justice leaders, informed by Jewish values, who will inspire the Jewish community to work toward a more just and equitable world.

The day began with members of both boards working together to understand the deeply embedded roots of oppression and injustice that reside in our social systems and institutions.

Through intensive discussions across the two organizations, the groups planned ways to infuse our Jewish work with anti-racism and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and the growing diversities in our community.

With a stage for open, honest and sometimes challenging conversations, the 21 participants reflected on their own identities as individuals and members of larger communities.

Through the framework of Judaism and social justice, the daylong retreat opened the door for further dialogue and collaboration that is important to the missions of both Jewish Collaborative Services and the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.

Submitted by Alison Walter, development director at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.