About khazbar

An Oasis in Deserts of Jewish Diversity for Jews of Color and Serious Allies.

Welcome to the nomadic tent of rest, hospitality, creativity. Of connection, of network, of community. Of Jewishness and Judaism emerging organically from our own cultural contexts. Of novel approaches to beauty and Biblical interpretation, liturgy and Judaica, ritual and tradition. Of combating racism creatively and joyously helping others to do the same. Come in from the glaring white-hot heat of the desert. Feel the soothing balm of the darkened tent. Rest, cry, and refresh. Meet, dream, and create. Above all, welcome home.

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Khazbar is a resource for gathering, exchanging, educating, healing, and centering for the diversity of our Jewish people and organizations. We create our own programming and support other organizations and individuals seeking to create connections and education for Jews of diverse backgrounds.

Jews of Color are often called upon to facilitate, educate, and agitate for racial justice in Jewish communities and the United States as a whole. While we undertake this work with professionalism, pride, expertise, chesed, and an abiding sense of Pirke Avot 2:4, this work is exhausting. We give, and give, and give. However, if we don't give to ourselves, then who are we? We are not an inexhaustible resource. We are not a resource. We are not a commodity. We are people. We are Jews. We are sorely in need of rest, and sorely in need of a venue for inspiring our own creativity and creative processes. That’s why we have created khazbar.

Khazbar is a managed project of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

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What does khazbar mean?

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Khazbar is a word of Aramaic origin, its simplest definition being a tent. It can refer to a large central tent that other people come and connect their tents to.

Founders

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Sabrina Sojourner

a former lecturer in Women’s Studies at San Francisco State University, was among the speakers featured by the National Women’s Studies Association’s Jewish Caucus at the 2018 NWSA Conference. The 2018 Midrashist-in-Residence for the National Havurah Institute, Sojourner describes herself as someone who leads and teaches with vulnerability. This orientation was the impetus for creating Training the Heart to Listen, a relational approach to important conversations. Based on Jewish values, the design invites participants to embrace their spirituality, communities, personal experiences, and values by helping them to bring their full selves to important, difficult, and meaningful conversations. Based in Rockville, MD, Sojourner is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Jewish Chaplains, Women Cantors Network, and a JWOC Alumna. 

Megan Pamela Ruth Madison

is currently pursuing her PhD at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy. When she's not working on finishing up her dissertation, she trains New York City public school teachers for the Center for Racial Justice in Education and the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute facilitating workshops on racial and gender justice. A board of member both of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) and JOIN for Justice, Megan lives in Harlem and loves baking challah, going on nature walks, and singing with her friends at Linke Fligl (a queer Jewish chicken farm in upstate New York). She is also the author of three children’s books, published by Penguin Random House: Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race, Being You: A First Conversation About Gender, and Yes! No!: A First Conversation About Consent.

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Tamara Fish

served as president of the Jewish Multiracial Network (JMN), president and board member of Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale, NY, and Assistant Director of the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia University. For 10 years she was first an adjunct and then full-time faculty in the Religion Dept. of Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY. An African-American Jew, Tamara enjoys working with synagogues, Jewish Day Schools and other Jewish communities to explore race relations kindly and constructively. She consulted with the Melton School for the Social Justice-Racial Justice Supplement (2021), consulted and co-designed the Academy for Jewish Religion’s 2020 annual 3-day fall retreat for alumni, faculty, and current seminarians, including building and conducting interactive workshops; conducted a 2-part Anti-Racism Training with Rabbi Bob Kaplan of JCRC-NY for CSS; co-taught a 3-part workshop, "Race and Racism in America," with Ruth Messinger (AJWS) for the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, and is a frequent consultant for the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable (JSJR) for DEIJ organizational and procedural concerns. She is the author of “Ahead of Yom Kippur, How Can You Repair Relationships With African-American Jews?” Harvard U., AB; Union Theo. Sem., MA; Columbia U., MPhil, ABD.

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