Jewish Community Education Planner Tzipi Altman-Shafer was worried about whether busy teachers would sign up for a three-session night class; she was pleasantly surprised to garner 40 of them.
Teachers are apparently hungry for learning about diversity.
The Coalition for Jewish Learning of Milwaukee Jewish Federation held the diversity classes in November and December for teachers at religious schools and day schools. The Zoom sessions had attendees from mostly Wisconsin Jewish schools.
The sessions were led by representatives from Edot Midwest Regional Jewish Diversity Collaborative – Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, director and Tamar Ghidalia, project manager.
The sessions were thought provoking, with text study, Altman-Shafer said.
“We talked about a lot of bias that we’re not aware of,” she said. She was struck by “how much implicit bias is impacting our lives on an everyday basis that we just are not aware of.”
One question that came up: Who can be assured that when they walk into a synagogue, it won’t be assumed they’re part of the catering staff?
Attendees included teachers from Yeshiva Elementary School, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, Gan Ami Early Childhood of the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, four area Sunday schools, and two teachers from Minneapolis, among others.