Beginning on Saturday, Jan. 23, the JCC will stream three extraordinary films that explore the relationship between the Jewish and Black communities. These true stories illuminate the Jewish/Black alliances that helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.

“As a community agency, we must use our voice to take a stand against racism, discrimination and social injustices. To move our nation forward, we have an obligation to educate ourselves and others to be allies, and to advocate for our friends and neighbors in the African American community,” said Beth Mitchell, the JCC’s Director of Inclusion and Diversity.

The series begins with Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent which streams from Saturday, Jan. 23 – Monday, Jan. 25. Prinz, as rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ, became a leader of the civil rights movement and worked to organize the 1963 March on Washington, declaring, “Bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”

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Next up is They Ain’t Ready for Me, streaming from Saturday, Jan. 30 - Monday, Feb. 1. Film-maker Brad Rothschild (a Westfield native) introduces Tamar Manasseh, the young inspiring black female Jewish rabbinical student who is leading the fight against killings of young black girls and boys on the South Side of Chicago.  The JCC is pleased to host an interactive Zoom with film subject Manasseh on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The series wraps up with Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance streaming Saturday, Feb. 6 - Monday, Feb. 8. This film explores the often-forgotten story of the coalition and friendship between the Jewish and African-American communities during the Civil Rights Movement and the current efforts to invigorate this vital relationship. As follow-up to this film, there will be another interactive Zoom Conversation with Rabbi Abraham and Leland McGee of Social Justice Matters on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. 

Randi Zucker, JCC Director of Arts & Culture invites the community to “please accept this film series and Zoom conversations as our forward-facing commitment to stand with and stand by African Americans and People of Color in our community.”

Registration for all events is required at www.jccnj.org.  A link to each film and Zoom program will be emailed after registration.

This film series is presented in partnership with Social Justice Matters Inc., Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Sholom and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.  It is made possible by funds from the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

For more information, pl,ease contact Randi Zucker, Director of Arts & Culture at rzucker@jccnj.org or 908-889-8800 x253 or visit www.jccnj.org.

The JCC of Central New Jersey is located at 1391 Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains. The JCC of Central New Jersey is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, United Way of Greater Union County and the Westfield United Fund. Financial assistance is available for membership and various programs.