Contemporary Issues

Ever more fast-paced and complicated, we experience and look out on the world with questions and concerns. How can I understand the changes and challenges facing society? What is my responsibility to my community and country, to the people and planet? Jewish tradition offers a lens for seeing the world and a Pathway for living in it.

Conversations on Social Justice

Join fellow congregants in one or more of three book/discussion groups this fall. All groups will be facilitated by members of Beth El’s Antiracism task force, part of the Social Justice/Gemilat Chesed committee.

How To Be An Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi 
What is the difference between being “not racist” and being “antiracist”? How can we contribute to the formation of a just and equitable society? Join fellow Beth El members to read and discuss Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist. Facilitated by Amy Shapiro and Alex Fisher.

Wednesday, October 20 from 7-9 pm: Introductions and Chapters 1-5
Wednesday, November 17 from 7-8 pm: Chapters 6-9
Wednesday, December 15 from 7-8 pm: Chapters 10-13
Wednesday, January 19 from 7-9 pm: Chapters 14-18 and Wrap-up

Learn more and register HERE

CASTE: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson
Join fellow Beth El thinkers, ponderers, debaters and readers as we explore the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. We will read, understand and discuss the arguments that Wilkerson sets forth, and explore and discuss the actions each of us and the Beth El community can and should take to heal ourselves and our country. Facilitated by Nancy Gildin.

Our group will meet over Zoom for 7 discussions between October 2021 and January 2022, covering one section of this book each time, on the following dates:

Thursday, October 14 from 7-9 pm: Introductions and Section 1
Thursday, October 28 from 7-8 pm: Section 2
Thursday, November 11 from 7-8 pm: Section 3
Thursday, December 2 from 7-8 pm: Section 4
Thursday, December 16 from 7-8 pm: Section 5
Thursday, January 13 from 7-8 pm: Section 6
Thursday, January 27 from 7-9 pm: Section 7

Learn more and register HERE

Race in Current Events
This quarterly discussion series will draw from news articles and other sources to examine how American policies, culture and attitudes are shifting in a post-George Floyd world. The sessions will be held from 9:45-11:00 am on the following Sundays:

Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 
Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Sunday, Aug 14, 2022
Sunday, Nov 13, 2022

Drop-in, no pre-registration required. Attend one or all. Group facilitated by Aklilu Dunlap, Bob Fine, and Naomi Zuk-Fisher


For more information on any of these programs, please contact Liz Rappaport at or 952.873.7314.