Expired From Shared Pasts to Shared Futures: Black-Jewish Relations in Context

Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Ralph Bunche, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Selma to Montgomery March

This online talk by Tema Smith, a diversity advocate, writer, and Jewish community builder is presented by Ackerman Training in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Admission is free and open to the public. CE Contact Hours are not available for this program.

Program Description:

During the height of the Civil Rights movement, Blacks and Jews bonded as fellow minorities with a shared history of slavery and a profound concern over inequality and injustice. The past cooperative and collaborative relationships between these two groups presently are fraught with tension. This talk was selected to shed a historical light on Black/Jewish relations and what the future may hold with rising anti-Semitism and anti-Black sentiment.


Tema Smith is a diversity advocate, writer, and Jewish community builder. She is currently the Director of Professional Development at 18Doors (formerly InterfaithFamily), an organization that empowers people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them.. This comes after seven years as a synagogue professional, most recently as the Director of Community Engagement at Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s oldest synagogue.

Tema is also a contributing columnist at The Forward whose writing has been published in MyJewishLearning, the Globe and Mail, and the Canadian Jewish News, and a member of the Nexus Task Force, examining the issues at the nexus of Israel and Antisemitism in America, and of the inaugural cohort of the Shalom Hartman Institute Seminar & Writers Workshop for Journalists.

She speaks and trains frequently on racial equity, diversity and antisemitism for synagogues, Jewish organizations, and community groups across North America. She holds a certificate in Instructing Adults from George Brown College, and will be finishing a certificate in Leadership and Inclusion through the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and Centennial College this month.

Tema lives in her hometown of Toronto with her sidekick, a 12-year-old extraordinarily stubborn shih tzu named Tashi and his tiny buddy Padma, her pour over coffee gear, and way too many books.

Above Image: Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Ralph Bunche, and Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Selma to Montgomery March, 1965. Image by James H. Karales. Courtesy of the Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Monica Karales and the Estate of James Karales

Return to Special Events

  • January 19, 2022
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tema Smith

Location:   Online Event


A link will be emailed to you one day before the event. Online events are held in Eastern Standard Time (ET).

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