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Celebrating Community
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Every February, Canadians celebrate Black History Month at festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present, and highlight the opportunities, contributions and challenges for people of African descent across the country.

As minorities who share a history of systemic discrimination and oppression, the Black and Jewish communities have long been mutually supportive. CIJA has been working with partner organizations representing the Black community in the continuing struggle against hate and racism for all minority communities. We encourage you to learn more about the work of these organizations and to support their community initiatives. 

In celebration of Black History Month, we have curated a selection of events and profiles that we think will be of interest to you. 

Black History Month Events

February 24 8:00PM EST

To honour our Black Jewish community members, we want to celebrate Black History Month together. I am Jewish: Honouring Black Jewish Experiences will feature experiences and performances in Canada, and in Connection to Israel.

Streaming

The Toronto Jewish Film Foundation has teamed up with No Silence on Race to curate a selection of films delve into the complexities of race, the politics of recognition and social unrest faced by Jews and non-Jews within the Jewish Diaspora and in Israel.

February 25 1:00-2:00PM  EST

Recognizing the contributions of the 761st Tank Battalion of the United States Army known as the Black Panthers, who were instrumental in liberating Holocaust survivors from concentration camps in Europe. LEARN MORE

February 17 5:30–7:15 PM EST 
Symposium on Black Migration and British Columbia hosted by the BC Black History Awareness Society

February 18 1:00–2:00PM EST
This is the Time: Black Entrepreneurship Leading Change hosted by Invest Ottawa

February 19  4:30-5:30PM EST
A Celebration of Black Women’s Voices in the Journey to Gender Equality hosted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation

February  20 10:30-12:30 PM EST
A Roadmap to an Anti-Racist Future hosted by Parents for Diversity – P4D.

February 20 4:00–5:00PM EST
École du samedi Fyète d’Ayiti hosted by Nos Jeunes À Coeur and Canadian Haitian Cultural Association of British Columbia.

February 27 9:00-11:00PM EST
Annual Legacy Awards 2021: Celebrating Resilience in Health Care hosted by the National Congress of Black Women

For additional resources and information on Black History Month events in Canada, visit the Canadian Heritage website. 

Friendship and Fellowship 

Rabbis recall marching with Martin Luther King

From the Freedom Rides of 1961 to the famous march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965, when Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walked in the front row with King, Jews were prominent participants in the battle for civil rights that dominated the first half of the ‘60s.

Learn about Jewish activism in the civil rights movement here 

My people were brought to America in chains. Your people were driven here to escape the chains fashioned for them in Europe. Our unity is born of our common struggle for centuries, not only to rid ourselves of bondage, but to make oppression of any people by others an impossibility.

– Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963   

170 Industry Leaders Sign Unity Statement to Launch Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance

To mark the first day of Black History Month, 170 leading Black and Jewish members of the entertainment industry have signed a unity statement to form the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance.

“As two communities that have long been targeted simply for who they are, the Black and Jewish communities are stronger when we stand together. It is thus incumbent on us, as members of the entertainment community, to continue to be united in the face of hateful discrimination and be a positive voice for change.”

ART AND ARTISTS ON BEING BLACK AND JEWISH

A dynamic group of Canadian and U.S. artists who identify as Black and Jewish come together for an unparalleled conversation on art and identity hosted by theatre artist and Rabbi-to-be, Kendell Pinkney. See and hear the compelling artistic work of Ella Cooper, Rebecca S’manga Frank, Sara Yacobi-Harris and Anthony Russell. As a jumping off point for a lively dialogue, each artist will share projects that explore the intersection of Jewishness and Blackness through film, photography, music and performance. A not-to-be-missed evening of multi-disciplinary art and wide-ranging discussion!

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