"Dismantling Racism Inside Out" Mussar Retreat for DJJ Leaders

Registration for this event is now closed.

Sudden_Event_Upbeat.jpgDJJ leaders are invited to join us for a retreat with the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project, to explore their “Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out” curriculum using the Jewish spiritual tools of mussar. We will gather for an opening retreat to begin the curriculum on Sunday, July 23rd.

Location: Congregation Shir Tikvah, 3900 Northfield Pkwy in Troy, 48084

Timing: Sun. 7/23, 10am - 4:30pm, including a hour break (with lunch provided)

Following the opening retreat, our cohort will meet online to continue the curriculum with facilitators from IOWA project on the following dates:  Tuesdays at 7pm-8:30pm on August 8th, August 22nd, September 5th and September 12th. Mark your calendar now!

If you’re unsure if you’ll continue with the online sessions, or 

if you have a conflict, you are still welcome to join us for the opening retreat on 7/23 to learn the foundational concepts and frameworks of the DRIO approach. But we hope to have you with us for the full journey July-September! 

Note: No prior knowledge of mussar is necessary, but this experience is targeted towards folks who have experience organizing with DJJ (whether in the past or more recently).

For those interested in staying around for our 7pm film screening of “40 Days of Teshuvah,” also taking place at Congregation Shir Tikvah, we can provide dinner!

Read on for more information about retreat, and reach out to Eleanor with any questions.


About Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project::The Inside-Out change method supports social justice leaders to explore Jewish spiritual wisdom and develop Jewish spiritual practices.  It helps people making social change integrate deep spiritual wisdom into their justice work in order to lead from a place that is more visionary, creative, sustainable, and grounded. We're helping people build bridges between their spiritual lives and their activist lives.

About Dismantling Racism from The Inside Out: Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out is a course and community of practice that equips participants with daily concrete Jewish spiritual tools of Mussar to confront, subvert, and heal implicit and internalized racism within ourselves and others, supporting the collective organizing, advocacy and service-work efforts to dismantle racism systemically.  To dismantle racism in our society at large and in each of us, we need to create personal and communal transformation in addition to supporting systemic change. Antiracism work is not easy, and we need support in order to be in it for the long-haul. We need tools to ensure we don't replicate the very dynamics of white supremacy and racism that we’re working to undo; tools to effectively, sustainably, and successfully build a better world.

Purpose of Opening Retreat

- To introduce participants to the facilitation team and each other, making space for folks to bring their mental and spiritual faculties into the space and laying the foundation for authentic relationships to grow

- To orient participants to communication agreements and frame the thematic arc of the course as focusing on the “how” of anti-racism, particularly with a focus on disrupting anti-Blackness

- To problematize a hierarchical orientation of care in a racialized context and make visible its role reinforcing and reifying racist hierarcheies of power and value within ourselves and each other

- To understand a reorientation to who we concretely care for (output of energy and resources) is key to any and all of our anti-racist efforts, and learn the domains of the balance of care: self, fellows (those targeted by anti-Blackness), and opponents 

- To know by living a balance of care we not only resist, but also confront, subvert and heal the the racist ideologies and behaviors we’ve internalized within ourselves and others, helping us be more effective in our anti-racist work and altering our and others relations to power

- To present the role of the spiritual in living and maintaining a balance of care and understand the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar as a technology of change through concrete behaviors

- To confront the role of self-care in subverting racism in ourselves and others and understand it as critical to the work of being antiracist

- To orient participants to the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar

- To demonstrate ways that Mussar can be an anti-racist practice

About our facilitators: 

Rabbi David Jaffe is the founder of the Kirva Institute and leads the Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project. He is the author of Changing the World from the Inside Out: A Jewish Approach to Personal and Social Change, which won the National Jewish Book Award for Contemporary Jewish life.  His teaching, writing, organizing and consulting explore the intersection of moral and spiritual development and ethical action in the world.  He teaches Mussar (applied Jewish ethics) and Jewish spiritual wisdom widely throughout North America with organizational and social change leaders, educators and spiritual seekers of all ages. 

David was a founding board member of Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps and helped start the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, an IAF affiliate. He has a masters in social work from Columbia University and private rabbinic ordination from Israel. He is a senior faculty member with the Mussar Institute, a visiting research fellow at Boston University and adjunct faculty at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School.  David serves on the Board of Directors of the Brockton Interfaith Community and lives in Sharon, MA with his partner, Janette and two teenage boys. 

Spiritual activist and community organizer Yehudah Webster works to animate and integrate anti-racist behaviors and culture in communities, supporting the collective organizing, advocacy and direct service efforts to dismantle racism systemically. As the Program Director and Faculty at Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project, Yehudah equips communities with the daily concrete spiritual tools of Mussar to subvert racism within ourselves and others through facilitating workshops, consulting with organizations, and building a community of anti-racist practice. He has presented in a wide variety of settings, including staff developments for organizations, college campuses, communal institutions, and youth group programs. Yehudah is a graduate of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship, Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Program, and Inside Out Wisdom and Action Project’s Ovdim Fellowship.


July 23, 2023 at 10:00am - 4:30pm


Congregation Shir Tikvah
3900 Northfield Pkwy
Troy, MI 48084
United States
Google map and directions


Eleanor Gamalski · · 2489908049

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