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Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging

Diversity Statement

As an open and inclusive Jewish day school in the heart of Brooklyn, we strive to provide an unparalleled, modern academic home that is committed to the rich mosaic of Jewish life. We are committed to intentionally building this mosaic with our students, faculty, administration, and families through their diversity across ethnicity, race, nationality, Jewish identity and practice, interfaith family composition, sexual orientation, gender identity, life experiences, socio-economic status, perspectives and worldviews. We value the dignity and self-worth of each member of our community.

We believe in ensuring that our students are prepared to be global citizens who can be productive agents of change toward a more just world. Our core Jewish value of Openness/Elu v’Elu guides our work in building empathy, promoting tolerance, and valuing difference. We live this value daily at Senesh in our curriculum, programming, admissions, hiring, professional development, and dialogue with our broader community. It is integral to our ongoing journey/Masa as a school to embrace the complex conversation of diversity in the 21st century, which we believe will continue to make our school community even more vibrant and strong.

Transgender and Non-Binary Student Support Guidelines

Senesh in the News

A Four-Step Approach to Increasing Diversity in Jewish Day Schools in Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools

In Grappling with Race, Jewish Schools Rethink Approach to Jews of Color in Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Upcoming Events

Parent Diversity Committee Monthly Workshop

Workshop #2: Racism, Whiteness and Jews

Facilitator: Bryan Susman, Program Associate for Jewish Education at Facing History

When: August 17, 2020 at 8:30pm

RSVP to: Melissa Kushner at melikushner@gmail.com

Please join us for the second of a monthly series of workshops that will address the history and current state of race and racism in the US and globally, whiteness and white privilege, and anti-racism.   

Our workshop will focus on racism, whiteness, and Judaism. We will explore the dynamics of whiteness and racism in our own lives and within the Jewish community, and we will examine the difference between how we identify racially and religiously and how we are identified by others. Finally, we will unpack the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Black racism, ending with a discussion about how we might introduce conversations about whiteness and racism with our children. A guiding question will frame our thinking during the session: How do white Jews navigate their multiple and intersecting religious and racial identities?

For this workshop, please read Eric Ward’s iconic article, Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism, which discusses the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Black racism. Of course, you are encouraged to attend the workshop even if you are not able to read the article. 

Past Programs and Events

Senesh has been working in partnership with Be’chol Lashon, an organization that supports learning around diversity and inclusivity within the Jewish community, to host several diversity initiatives throughout the year. Through a three-part diversity series, the Senesh parent body and local community explored Jewish identity, specifically as it relates to racial and ethnic diversity in the Jewish community. Be’chol Lashon also conducted a diversity training with our staff and as part of our goal to develop a holiday curriculum that includes customs and traditions of Jews of color and around the world, a small committee of Judaics teachers worked in partnership with Be’chol Lashon to update our K-8 holiday curriculum. With guidance from the Teaching Tolerance program, the K-8 social studies benchmarks and curriculum are being revised to reflect the goals set out in our diversity statement. We look forward to continuing this work, and to expanding benchmark revision to other curricula. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also led anti-bias workshops with our seventh and eighth graders, prompting many important and helpful conversations.In the past year, Senesh has held several events focused on diversity and inclusion, including:

  • Hanukkah Community Arts Event
  • MLK Day of Service
  • Sigd: A holiday among the Ethiopian-Jewish community
  • Simchat Torah with Indian dancing
  • Senesh Parent Diversity Committee Book Club
  • Book Fair: Jews Around the World Books
  • Senesh Parent Diversity Committee Conversation: Current Events, Race, and Racism
  • Senesh Parent Diversity Committee Monthly Workshop: The Origins and Legacy of Slavery, Race, and Racism

Click here to read about our past events.