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Focus on Racial Justice Committee

Learn more about our Civil Rights Tour 2020!

The May 2020 tour includes key Civil Rights sites in Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham, with an optional Memphis visit. Initial reservations and deposit are due November 1, 2019. Click the link above (you'll need to log in to your ShulCloud account) or contact for more information.

Created in fall 2015, CBI Focus on Racial Justice is intended to strengthen our Congregation’s commitment to the Jewish value of equal justice. We are currently seeking additional CBI member participation in the Committee as we expand our programming including advocacy around racial justice issues.

Join us at our next meeting. For more information or to be added to our mailing list, contact our committee co-chair Alan Saunders

Our Mission:
  • Increase self-awareness of our own implicit biases and privilege;
  • Build awareness in our congregation about our own diversity and celebrate it;
  • Create and ensure a safe environment for all people involved with CBI;
  • Educate our congregation about the Jewish values of tikkun olam and racial justice;
  • Increase awareness of issues of racial injustice, bias, privilege and systemic racism;
  • Develop ways for congregants to become involved in efforts to further racial justice in our congregation, the Reform Jewish movement and the larger community.

Our Vision: CBI WILL

  • Be inclusive of people of all backgrounds and races and celebrate diversity;
  • Further awareness of systemic oppression faced by people of color and privileges of those perceived as white;
  • Through social and political action efforts, be an active ally in working with the Reform Jewish movement and local community groups involved in racial justice efforts

Upcoming events/programs:

CBI Civil Rights Tour – Schedule of Pre-Trip Events

All members are welcome to pre-trip events, whether or not they’re planning to participate in the Civil Rights Tour.





Sun 11/3

5:30-9 PM

Film and discussion: The Hate U Give. Outstanding 2018 film about an African- American teen who’s constantly switching between two worlds—the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, she must find her voice and decide to stand up for what's right. PG-13. Potluck supper at 5:30, film begins at 6.

CBI Social Hall

Sun 11/24

4-5:30 PM

Book discussion: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (whose museum and memorial we’ll visit in Montgomery). NY Times best-selling book recounts Stevenson’s coming of age as a young lawyer, provides a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and makes an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. (Book and e-book available at Sacramento Public Library and local and online bookstores.) Refreshments will be served.

CBI Library

Sun 12/15

2-3:30 PM

Book discussion: The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Discussion of the 2014 article that rekindled a movement such that reparations for slavery and legalized discrimination are now being discussed by major presidential candidates. Read this article online at The Atlantic or in a PDF version here. Refreshments will be served.

CBI Library

Tue 1/14

6-9 PM

Film and discussion: 13th. This award-winning 2016 documentary by Ava DuVernay provides an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States today and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. The title refers to the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery except as punishment for a crime. Potluck supper at 6, film begins at 6:30, followed by discussion with Rabbi Alfi and Confirmation Class.

CBI Chapel

Sun 2/2

4-6 PM

Guest speaker: Rev. Alice Baber-Banks. Dr. Baber-Banks, Pastor of Christian Fellowship Ministry Church, is a longtime Sacramento faith leader and public servant. She will share her family’s experiences of racism in the South and here in Sacramento. Refreshments will be served.

CBI Social Hall

Sun 3/15

4-5:30 PM

Book discussion: The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity by Eric L. Goldstein. This 2008 book documents the uneasy place Jews have claimed in America’s racial culture over time. (Available from Princeton Univ. Press, working on additional local availability.) Refreshments will be served.

CBI Library

Various Dates in April

6-9 PM

Dinner, Documentary, and Discussion (3D)—Members are encouraged to invite others into their homes for a potluck, film viewing, and discussion. Choose a documentary or dramatization from the list of recommended films on our website, or select another relevant film. These events replace the initially advertised April 5 viewing of Freedom Riders. Please contact if you are willing to host a 3D event. Schedule of events will be shared with members in March.

Members’ homes

TBD April


Travelers’ group dinner

A traveler’s home

Recent events and programs sponsored or co-sponsored:

9/29/19 Cosponsored Sacramento premiere screening of award-winning documentary, ALTERNATIVE FACTS: The Lies of Executive Order 9066, followed by panel discussion with filmmaker Jon Osaki and civil rights and immigration lawyers and activists

9/8/19 Kickoff event for Civil Rights Tour programming: Romance and Civil Rights Enforcement in the 1960s: The Landsberg Story. Potluck dinner, film, and presentation by Dorothy and Brian Landsberg who met while working to advance voting rights in the South.

2/6/19 H.E.A.T. and Build.Black Panel: Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Police Chief Daniel Hahn, ACT Community Organizer Ryan McClintock, CA Urban Partnership President Malaki Seku-Amen, Sierra Health Foundation consultant Tracy Stigler

2/3/19 Theo Goodwin and panelists:  The Internment of Japanese Americans as Seen Through Jewish Law

1/27/19 Cosponsored Rabbi Alfi’s book discussion: Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority: Our Jewish Obligation to Social Justice

1/21/19 March for the Dream: walking together with South Sacramento Christian Center

1/20/19 Mitzvah Day: making signs for next day’s MLK, Jr. March for the Dream

12/9/18 B’nai Israel Reads: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow guest speaker: Local attorney Keith Staten

11/18/18 B’nai Israel Reads: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow book discussion #2

10/14/18 B’nai Israel Reads: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow book discussion #1

9/28/18 Drash and oneg sponsorship as lead-up to The New Jim Crow book discussion

March 2018 - Hon. Emily Vasquez Speaking from the Heart about the Long Journey as an Immigrant Latina in California;

January 2018 - Committee assisted along with other volunteers helped landscape the grounds around Bret Harte elementary school;

December 2017 – A talk with Durriya Syed – Providing insight into her work within the interfaith and Muslim communities;

October 2017 – Sheryll Cashin, Georgetown U. Law Professor and author of “Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy.”

September 2017 – Jason Lindo, A Native Hawaiian Living in the California Diaspora;

March 2017 - Eileen Sunada Sarasohn spoke about A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE ON THE HISTORY OF JAPANESE AMERICANS IN SACRAMENTO - being of Japanese descent growing up in Sacramento and life in internment camps during WWII; and

January 2017 – Ilana Kaufman, Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay, of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the S.F. Bay Area

Tue, May 26 2020 3 Sivan 5780