June 24, 2020

Derech Eretz: A Path To Educating Our Children About Anti-Racism

by Liz Paige, Director of Ethics and Community Initiatives

The Jewish value of Derech Eretz can be literally translated as "the way/road on the land." Derech Eretz (manners, The Golden Rule, respect for elders, and honesty in our relationships) teaches us how we are to conduct ourselves and interact with others as we journey through life. We believe that respect for all with whom we interact is how we are to conduct ourselves; it is our personal responsibility to act with respect in order to create a community and world in which each person is seen, heard, and valued.

One of the key steps to end systemic racism is for each of us to examine our own biases, prejudices, and privileges. Author Alex Haley wrote, "In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future."  As parents, it is incumbent upon us to have conversations with our children about bias and identity, race and racism, as well as power and privilege. 

These are not easy conversations; we all recognize the urgency and importance of these discussions for our individual children and the world as a whole. To support our community in these conversations, we have curated a Padlet of resources for parents, families, and students. We will continue to add resources throughout the summer; if you come across sources or have ideas to share with families, please forward them to me at . 

Thank you for being our partners in our purpose "to create individuals committed and able to repair the world."