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Breathe: For Kol Ami Members and Friends

It is a tree of life to all that hold fast to her, all of her pathways are peace. Proverbs 3:18

Please join us in a semester of learning for our community that we hope will lead to actions and advocacy for inclusivity, environmental justice, and a deepening of our own sense of well-being and joy as we incorporate Jewish texts and values into our study.

This program is designed for adults from 10th grade to senior citizens. You can participate during any section or the entire semester.

Starting January 24 through April 18, 2021 from 10:00am -11:30am PT

Register here for the first 7 weeks on Racial Justice and Inclusion here

The program, called Breathe, includes three tracks:

• Racial Justice and Inclusion

• Environmental Justice/Eco-Judaism

• Personal wellbeing and self-development

Rabbi Kinberg used the theme of Breathe on Rosh Hashana eve 5781 to weave together a call to action for us as a community. I’m excerpting some of her words below.

• Inclusion: Racial Justice and reconciliation are not optional. For us, it must be a mandate. To create a world where all humans with life breath are honored as precious and important.

• Environment: We need to understand our place as humans within this ecosystem. We are here to nurture and tend this gift of the most awesome garden.

• Personal wellbeing and self-development: Our breath and our soul, our wellbeing physically and spiritually are interconnected in our tradition and it is a lovely and much-needed inheritance from our ancestors.

In Hebrew Neshima/breath נשימה and neshama/soul נשמה share the same root. We show our praise and gratitude when we care for our wellness-we nurture our souls and bodies.

As part of a group of Kol Ami adults who commenced upon 21 weeks of racial equity program of study in June, I recommend this whole-heartedly. While the 21 weeks finished in November, 12 of us have continued our work of unlearning racial biases. We had something else result from this work as Ellie Hochman put it:

“In addition to the learning, the welcome, support, intellectual challenges and connection that you have all provided to me and my husband Sandy Voit has been so valuable. This connection and finding another "Jewish Home" has been a bright light in an otherwise difficult year. It has provided us ways to "open our hearts" as we have had to restrict our comings and goings and seeing those we love. I have such gratitude!!!

Please join our learning cycle and community. We’ll be starting Breathe with a 7-week workshop on racial justice and inclusion for people of color and others who have been marginalized in Jewish places, for example people with disabilities, LGTBQ+ or neuro-atypical. Grounded in Jewish text and values, we’ll be working with two facilitators who are both Jews of color and trained in building inclusive communities. We’ll bring our own personal goals to the class on unlearning racism and practicing inclusion.

By the end of 7 weeks, we will jointly develop an action plan for Kol Ami to become more inclusive, social action and advocacy activities we can undertake individually and collectively, and ways to expand this work through multifaith efforts. PLEASE NOTE: for this section, the facilitators have requested a commitment to attend all classes.*

We’ll take the same approach to address personal wellbeing and self-development, and environmental action. As we complete our semester of learning, we’ll also celebrate the growth of our community and connections with each other. Everything will be virtual – although we hope to celebrate the learning in person as soon as we can do so safely. Please bring your voices and ideas to our egalitarian, inclusive center for Jewish Life.

*This applies ONLY to the first 7 sessions on Racial Justice and Inclusion.

Breathe: Racial Justice and Inclusion Facilitators:

Tamar Ghidalia

Tamar Ghidalia (she/her) is a Jew of Color of Sephardic (Spanish) heritage who was born in Tunisia, fled with her family to France, and subsequently immigrated to Israel and then to the U.S. She has a B.A. in Education and Hebrew Literature from Paris Sorbonne University and a B.A. in Music from the Conservatoire de Paris. Tamar is an educator and professional musician with 30+ years of experience in leadership, mentoring, program building, curriculum development and program management. Most recently, she worked for six years as the Executive Director of Urban Arts Academy, a non-profit serving students and families through art-infused education.

Tamar is now an independent consultant whose passions include: promoting racial equity, diversity and inclusion; teaching Jewish texts and culture; using art-infused education to support the healthy development of diverse children and youth; and developing partnerships between organizations to collaborate for success.

Jill Housen

Jill (she/her) was raised in Claremont, CA and received her B.A. from California State University, Long Beach. Early on, she studied French, Spanish, and molecular biology; she graduated in Fashion & Merchandising. She is currently a buyer for a contemporary women's boutique and a loving caregiver for her mother.

Most recently, she is focusing on Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) work, serving as a REDI consultant for local and national Jewish communities.

Jill completed the 2019-2020 URJ’s (DEI) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion JewV’Nation Fellowship (she is now an alumni) and the Don't Kvetch Community Organizing training through Bend the Arc.

She is passionate about Judaism, sustainable fashion solutions, food, and reggae music, and she believes that coffee is the elixir of life. In her free time, Jill can be found working in her garden, spending time at the gym, and experimenting in the kitchen with vegetarian dishes.

Dates: 1/24--31, 2021- 2/7-14-21-28, 2021 from 10:00am-11:30am PT

Racial Justice and Inclusion

1/24 Exploring Diversity in the Jewish Community 1/31

Explore Identities Recognizing,Understanding & Correcting 2/7

Micro-Aggressions/Reconsidering Color Blindness 1 2/14

Micro-Aggressions/Reconsidering Color Blindness 2 2/21

Dig deep in the 4 levels of Oppression 2/28

Systematic Inequity and Equity 3/7

Simyyum/Wrap Up: Where do we go from here. Environmental Justice/Eco-Judaism


Eco-Judaism 1 Earth Stewards


Eco-Judaism 2 Food and Healing 3/28

Eco-Judaism 3 Rabbinic Call to Action

Personal Wellbeing and Self-development 4/4

Judaism as a Wellness Path 1 Body/Movement 4/11

Judaism as a Wellness Path 2 Mind A Playground for Thinkers 4/18

Judaism as a Wellness Path 3 Spirit Connecting to the Source of Wellness: Prayer and Contemplation

Look for registration in Hakol, our weekly newsletter.

Many Blessings,

Linda Bookey, Kol Ami Co-President

Scope of Work Document

(Between Kol Ami and the co-facilitators, Jill Housen and Tamar Ghidalia)

CHARGE: Through a series of meetings over six weeks that will include intensive education as well as planning, with homework between meetings, participants will create a work plan with a list of recommendations for adoption by the KA Board.

Process: Tamar and Jill will work closely with the leadership of KOL AMI and will co-facilitate 6 meetings total that would appeal to all learners/participants.

By the end of the training, Kol Ami will have a work plan with specific goals towards change (Becoming a fully inclusive congregation) that they will be able to present to their leadership to translate into action.


  • Describe why becoming a fully inclusive congregation is important to Kol Ami’s vision of being a welcoming, inclusive center for Jewish Life.

  • Summarize the diversity in the Jewish community, and the inequities, biases and micro-aggressions that lead to exclusion

  • Assess Kol Ami’s current performance

  • Develop a plan and be motivated to take action

KOL AMI 6 Sessions Course Outline

Session 1:

  • Exploring Diversity in the Jewish Community

  • DEI definitions

  • Review Assessment Results

Session 2:

  • Explore Identities

  • Recognizing, Understanding & Correcting Racist Behaviors: Biases- Review Assessment results

Session 3: Recognizing, Understanding & Correcting Racist Behaviors: Micro-Aggressions/Reconsidering Color Blindness

  • Review of HW and Review of assessment results

Session 4: Review of HW and continue on Self-assessment resultsSession 5: Review of HW/ Dig deep in the 4 levels of Oppression/ results of self-assessmentSession 6: Learn about Systematic Inequity and Equity and build the work plan together.

Note: as our REDI work is fully grounded in Jewish texts and values, each session starts with a Jewish text study and questions in breakout groups. Each session has HW assignments that we review and discuss.

Assessment Process

Facilitators will gather every week the 3 goals each participant will send us, (group them by topic/theme), and will bring them to the last session so we can review, prioritize, and put in the following proposed format:

Strategic Goal - Desired Strategic Objective - Outcomes - Measures - Person Responsible - Timeline


The group will meet once a week for 6 weeks on the following dates:

Dates: 1/24--31, 2021- 2/7-14-21-28, 2021 from 10:00am-11:30am PT

Time: (12:00pm-1:30pm CT)

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