New program seeks to expand awareness and understanding of how antisemitism and racism overlap
New York, NY, January 26, 2022 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) announced today the inaugural class of Collaborative for Change fellows, Jews of Color who will receive up to $25,000 to counter bias and hate through film, research, and other projects. This fellowship seeks to expand awareness and understanding of how antisemitism and racism overlap and intersect in ways that are uniquely harmful to Jews of Color.
The five inaugural Collaborative for Change fellows are:
- Sara Yacobi-Harris, founder of No Silence on Race. Her project will create a pair of curricula – one targeted at Jewish audiences and one at non-Jewish audiences – to serve as an educational supplement to a film and video series that explores the lives of multiracial and multiethnic Jews.
- Jared Chiang-Zeizel, an Asian-American Jewish freelance creative professional who produces written and video content. His project will create a short-form documentary video exploring the lives, rituals and experiences of four Asian-American Jewish clergy.
- Carmel Tanaka, founding member of the Jewpanese (people of Jewish and Japanese Heritage) community. Her project will conduct 20 oral history video interviews with Jewpanese community members in Canada, the U.S., Japan and Israel, focusing in particular on their lived experiences, such as the intergenerational trauma of the Holocaust and Japanese internment. This content will then be used to curate an online Jewpanese exhibit.
- Deitra Reiser, founder of Transform for Equity. Her project will create three learning and reflecting sessions on the connection between racism and antisemitism and will create a curriculum that can be used in other settings and share their findings and resources for understanding and working with racialized trauma for Jews of Color.
- Isaac de Castro, a writer and activist. His project, in conjunction with the American Sephardi Foundation (ASF) Institute of Jewish Experience, will interview people of Latino and Sephardic Jewish identities, in particular immigrants from Latin America, about their experiences, and will use this to create an online or in-person exhibit.
The new Collaborative for Change Fellowship is being led by Tema Smith, who recently joined ADL as Director of Jewish Outreach and Partnerships. Tema has served the Jewish community for over a decade and has held positions in synagogues, Jewish media, Holocaust education and has worked on Jewish inclusion and diversity initiatives. She has vast experience in community engagement, training, research, relational engagement and advocacy, and is a recipient of the 2022 JPro Young Professionals Award.
“Jews of Color are, unfortunately, often subjected to the dual evils of racism and antisemitism,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Through the Collaborative for Change fellowship, we’re proud to provide an opportunity for Jews of Color to share their experiences and increase understanding of the unique challenges they face.”
Each of the Fellows brings a unique set of experiences and backgrounds:
Yacobi-Harris, a mixed race Georgian-Jewish and Jamaican woman, created “No Silence on Race” to build inclusive and racially diverse Jewish spaces in Canada. She is an artist, filmmaker, media professional and community organizer. She holds a masters of education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She has also worked on several TV and digital productions at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Chiang-Zeizel writes books, screenplays and short-form ad-copy, as well as cutting branded content and short-form narrative documentaries. He’s completed writing and editing assignments for Sony Pictures, Disney, Lucas Films, Netflix, Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Screen Gems, Fox News, Practical Magic, Men’s Fitness, Unilever, and more.
Tanaka (she/her) is a queer neurodivergent Jewpanese woman of colour from Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is a community engagement professional and her leadership initiatives include: JQT Vancouver, Genocide Prevention BC and Cross Cultural Walking Tours.
Reiser has 20 years of professional experience as a school psychologist and educator. She speaks on antiracism, race in the United States and belonging in the Jewish community. Reiser is the author of a curriculum, “Building Racial Stamina,” that has been used to further the underlying principles of diversity, equity, and belonging in Jewish spaces. She is an alumna of Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, and earned a doctorate in educational psychology from The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
De Castro, a Sephardi Jew who grew up in Panama, is a writer and activist focused on Zionism, antisemitism and Sephardi culture who ADL recently honored at its Concert Against Hate. He serves as the editor of Jewcy.com, and previously founded New Zionist Congress and Jewish on Campus.