Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Jewish Community Foundation’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

“It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but neither are you free to desist from it.”

– Pirkei Avot 2:21

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and our Jewish Community Foundation’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is guided by these core ideas:

  • B’tzelem Elohim – The dignity of all human beings, that all people are created (in God’s image), and that all humans are unique, equal and have infinite value.
  • Tikkun Olam – That we must be a positive force in repairing what is broken and continuing to break in the world.
  • Anavah – That we must approach our work with humility and recognition that our understanding of the world is framed and in turn, biased, by our individual experiences.

The Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation serve a large and diverse Jewish community across DC, MD, and Northern VA, and work to address pressing needs locally and around the world. As we live and operate in a multi-racial and multi-ethnic America, we draw strength from our community’s diversity. We are committed to ensuring that all community members feel that they belong and can fully participate in Jewish life as their most authentic selves. Our unique identities and perspectives enrich us and allow us to build a collective culture in which we all thrive, together.

Grounded in these values, Federation and our Jewish Community Foundation use our resources, platform, and influence to nurture a multi-generational culture of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging.

We also recognize that ongoing racism, antisemitism, and other forms of hatred continue to prevent many in our society from feeling safe and welcome. In particular, racism creates significant ongoing and systemic disparities across our country and community.

With this recognition, our Jewish community must take responsibility for our learning, examine and acknowledge our own biases, listen and ask more questions, and determine how best to partner and ally with others to build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable Jewish community, Greater Washington, and America.

We must use our voices to speak up, educate people, and condemn expressions of antisemitism, racism, and all forms of discrimination, no matter the source. As we build the world we aspire to for future generations, we are responsible for understanding how our actions – and inaction – sustain racism, antisemitism, prejudice, and hatred in our community and society.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Jewish Community Foundation commit to:

  • Building a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our organization, including by evaluating and working to incorporate equitable internal policies and practices.
  • Fostering lay and professional leadership pipelines that represent the full diversity of our Jewish community.
  • Supporting organizations within the Jewish community to pursue and further their own DEIB journeys.
  • Using our voice and resources to advance racial justice and confronting racism and its impact on individuals and society, both inside and outside of the Jewish community.
  • Combating antisemitism and its impact on individuals and society.
  • Supporting organizations and initiatives serving historically marginalized groups.
  • Continuing to evolve our learning and practice to deepen our humanity and culture competency.

Together, and by prioritizing this essential work, we continue to pursue our vision of an open, connected, and vibrant Jewish community that cares for each other, fosters Jewish learning and journeys, embraces Jewish peoplehood and Israel, and acts as a force for good in the world.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Resources

Watch the Recordings of our Listen, Learn, Create Series on Race and Relationships

Community members share their experiences with Jewish life as Black Jews and Jews of Color in Greater Washington.

Kwon Crumble Benowitz, Joseph Levin-Manning, and Deitra Reiser, in conversation with Yolanda Savage-Narva (April 2021)

Tema Smith, Yoshi Silverstein, Rabbi Esther Lederman, in conversation with Yolanda Savage-Narva (January 2021)

Reverend Tim Warner, Benjamin Warner, Jordan Warner-Graham, Joia Daniels, and Dr. Joseph Daniels III (September 2020)