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Critical Conversations: Jews and Race

Critical Conversations: Jews and Race

Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Critical Conversations is an annual Spertus Institute program inspired by Judaism’s embrace of civil discourse.

The series brings together high-profile experts and activists to debate the most critical issues of the day.

This year, in two online events, our trio of presenters will focus on race and justice—and their juncture in Jewish life.

Critical Conversations is generously funded by the late Eric Joss.

Sessions sold separately. Advance tickets required.
$18 | $10 for Spertus members | $8 for students and Spertus alumni

Closed captioning provided.

Tuesday, April 27 | 7-8:30 pm central

The first program brings our presenters together to discuss race and racism, exploring the nuances and complexities of these issues, in Jewish life and beyond. | Moderated by Spertus President and CEO Dr. Dean P. Bell.


Workshop on Allyship and Inclusive Communities
Monday, May 10 | 7-8:30 pm central
For the second program, our experts lead an interactive workshop on Jewish allyship, including discussion about the needs of Jews of Color and issues of race within today’s American Jewish community. | Moderated by Spertus Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Keren E. Fraiman. Purchase workshop tickets >

Yahvilah McCoy, Dr. Marc Dollinger, Rabbi Mira Rivera


When most people think of Jewish, they think white and they think European. But Jews of color have been alive and well for thousands of years. — Yavilah McCoy

Yavilah McCoy is a Black, Jewish anti-racism activist. She founded Ayecha, the first nonprofit for Jewish diversity, and has long been an advocate for Jews of Color. Today she is CEO of Dimension Educational Consultancy. A renowned educator and spiritual practitioner, she was voted a “Faith Leader to Watch” by the Center for American Progress.

We need to upend our entire way of thinking. — Dr. Marc Dollinger

Dr. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. He is the author of Black Power, Jewish Politics and served on the California advisory committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Being a courageous and compassionate Jew matters. Black and brown lives matter. Standing up for what's right matters. — Rabbi Mira Rivera

Rabbi Mira Rivera — the first Filipina-American ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary — is a chaplain and Associate Rabbi at Romemu in New York and the Rabbi at Ammud: the Jews of Color Torah Academy. She co-chairs the rabbinical council of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She first came to New York to dance with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

Thank you to our sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Program Sponsors


John & Joan Gilchrist

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For ticket assistance or program inquiries, contact or 312.322.1739.