Last week, we observed Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday for the third year. This holiday commemorates the day that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally received news of the Emancipation Proclamation—two years after it was issued. This holiday is a symbol of the transition from bondage to freedom, a theme that runs through much of Jewish tradition. Federation is proud to partner with organizations like Political Leaders of Tomorrow for Blacks and Jews (PLOT), which seek to uplift the voices of Jews of color and build bridges between the Black and Jewish communities in our city.
PLOT is funded by a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. This April, PLOT hosted 32 Black and Jewish college students in a two-day in-person program with the theme, “Forging Alliances between Blacks and Jews to Combat Hate.” The powerful Leadership Forum made space for frank conversations, education from experts, and empathy.
“I have not been able to stop talking to my friends about all the amazing speakers we heard and the cool people I met from around the state. I will always remember the kindness and genuine friendship that I saw between David Hoffman and Reverend Woodall even as they discussed issues that they hold dear yet disagree with each other about. The image of them smiling and shaking hands stays in my mind. I truly learned so much about cooperation when we disagree, but also that Black Americans and Jewish Americans have so much in common.”
-Participant in PLOT’s Leadership Forum
Dr. John Eaves, Founder & National Director of PLOT, says, “The Black-Jewish alliance that was so potently nurtured by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights era must be restored to address the rise of antisemitism on college campuses across the United States today. It has been refreshing and inspiring to see Black and Jewish college students from diametrical perspectives evolve from seeing the other as a stranger to understanding the common humanity that Blacks and Jews possess.”
Federation is proud to support the work of PLOT and other organizations that do this essential, intersectional work.