At the core of Rimonim's work is establishing racial justice as a core value in our liturgy and our ritual practices. We do this by writing texts that explicitly speak to racial justice, that explicitly examine the ways that white supremacy has infiltrated US Jewish cultures and institutional life, and by creating liturgy that speak from the experiences and lives of Jews of Color and Indigenous Jews*.
Jews of Color is a category of human being created by racism. It's a term that assumes that "regular" Jews are white and Jews of Color in all our complex variety are exceptions, a special, exotic variety of Jew. Jews of Color include North African and Middle Eastern Jews who may identify as Mizrahi or Sephardic, Ethiopian Jews, Jews from India and China and Uganda; Ashkenazi Jews of Color who are the mixed heritage children of non-Jewish People of Color and White Ashkenazi Jews; African, Asian, and Indigenous converts to Judaism and the descendants of people of color who converted long ago.
Some of us are both targets and beneficiaries of white supremacy, light skinned enough to be treated as white at least some of the time. Some of us are targeted all the time, including in our shuls. We have a whole range of relationships to our identities, a whole range of relationships to whiteness and Jewishness.
Rimonim seeks to center and represent all of that complexity in the liturgy we create. For example, this invocation, written to announce the racial justice initiative at Kehilla Community Synagogue.
* When we speak of Indigenous Jews we're talking about people indigenous to the Americas who are also Jewish.