Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell and members of Temple Concord are taking part in the Broome Tioga Chapter of the NAACP’s virtual community forum “Looking in the Mirror: Reflections on Racism in our Community,” which will take place on Thursday, July 8, from 5:30-7:30 pm. The purpose of the forum is to raise awareness of racism and bias, and its impact on individuals. The event came out of the incident in Sunrise earlier this year. (For information on that incident, visit www.binghamtonhomepage.com/news/town-of-dickinson-family-experiences-alleged-racial-harassment-and-intimidation-during-driving-lesson/?fbclid=IwAR3UX.) Registration for the program on Zoom will be available from the Temple Concord office at 723-7355 or TempleConcordbinghamton@gmail.com, or through https://bit.ly/BTNAACPRegister.
Goldman-Wartell noted the connection between Holocaust education and prejudice reduction work: “In Holocaust education, we often talk about these roles of people in a situation: perpetrator, victim, bystander and rescuer. The language we use now has been modified. In the past, we spoke of rescuing as a way of saving people’s lives in the Holocaust. In today’s world, people don’t want to be rescued, rather they want allies, people to stand with them. The term which started to be used in this work more recently (the past 15 or more years) is the option to be an upstander. The upstander is a person who actively intervenes in some way in a situation. One aspect of the community forum will be to offer tools to help people to do or say something when they witness or are part of an aggression or a micro-aggression. This forum is about being an effective upstander.”
She also noted that “the other piece of Holocaust education and its place in working to deal with other hate and prejudice and racism is to understand that each person has the potential to be a perpetrator, victim, bystander or upstander. It is up to us to be intentional in the way we interact with others and stand up to acts of injustice.”
“We hope that participants will commit themselves to be accountable: becoming an advocate and ally to those in need of support,” said organizers of the event. “We are looking to engage others beyond this forum in ways to positively impact our community.”
Goldman-Wartell and three other members of Temple Concord will be facilitators for the breakout groups.