More than 200 people from around the United States have bought tickets to participate in the first annual Jewish People of Color (JOC) National Shabbaton, reported

The program will be held virtually from Friday afternoon, May 14, through Sunday afternoon, May 16.

The Shabbaton will bring together Jews of color and their families, communities and institutions. The weekend program “is designed to be communal, inclusive, expansive and welcoming space for Jews of color across geographic, religious/spiritual and denominational paths,” according to the event’s description.

Heather Miller, president of one of the event’s sponsors—the Flatbush & Shaare Torah Jewish Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.—said the Shabbaton is geared to help create “supportive spaces for members of the JOC community.”

She added, “It’s a place for us to lean on each other and learn from each other. It’s going to be a moving experience just to be with so many people who immediately understand.”

The program will address topics such as how to be a racially conscious and multiracial family, strengthening spirituality through Torah and the community, and black Jewish fatherhood, according to Among the featured speakers are Ilana Kaufman, executive director of the Jews of Color Initiative in San Francisco; Yoshi Silverstein, a Chinese American Jew and founder of the nonprofit Mitsui Collective; and Maryland-based Jewish educator Sabrina Sojourner.

“It will be beautiful and empowering to be in a place where Jews of color are leading,” Harriette Wimms, who runs the Jews of Color Mishpacha Project, said of the Shabbaton. “People have already told me, ‘We needed this for so long.’ ”


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