Kehillah Jewish High School’s first Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Social Justice (DEB/SJ)
At a time when the community is suffering, no one should say, “I will go home, eat, drink, and be at peace with myself.”
– Babylonian Talmud Taanit, 11a.
Dear Kehillah community,
I’m excited to serve our community as Kehillah’s new Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Belonging & Social Justice (DEB/SJ). For those I haven’t had a chance to meet yet, this is my fifth year at Kehillah, my third year as Dean of the English Department, and my fifteenth year overall as an educator. My work in the classroom has always been rooted in ideas of justice, so I’m looking forward to collaborating with you all as we engage more deeply in this important work.
I believe that our Four Commitments, which were derived from Jewish wisdom, intersect with the values conveyed by the concepts of DEB/SJ. However, this past summer, the murders of more Black Americans as a result of racist violence and the accompanying uprisings made it clear that there’s much more work to be done across the country. By taking a more focused approach and holding ourselves accountable (Commitment #4!), we’re hoping to enhance our ability to embody those values institutionally to create an environment in which all of our students truly thrive and learn to live well in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
As some of you know, I was on parental leave for most of the first semester, so I apologize that this communication is coming late in the academic year. But I’ve already begun working with a team of my colleagues to conduct Kehillah’s first ever DEB audit to gather information that will inform how best to focus and align our efforts moving forward. You’ll learn more about this process in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever have any questions, concerns, or thoughts related to DEB/SJ at Kehillah.