The Reform Jewish Community of Canada is pleased to offer our community content, congregational programming, and links on the important topic of Reconciliation. Click on any of the links below to read sermons on the topic or learn about programs both past and future being run for the purpose of educating the community. Feel free to contact us for help or assistance in bringing these programs into your own Congregations. We encourage you to visit this page often, as we will update it regularly with more resources as they become available.
• Remembering, Honouring, Learning: An Indigenous and Jewish Memorial
Holy Blossom Temple recently held a memorial to the Indigenous children of the residential school system. Rabbi Splansky and Cantor Rosen, together with our invited Indigenous Elder, volunteers and staff from the Anishnawbe Health Foundation, will be leading this commemoration. This event will be an interactive healing ceremony, guided by Elder Catherine Brooks (bio below). Elder Catherine will be joined by First Nations dancers Nicole Leveck and her daughters Nazarene Pope and Indiana Cada, along with her partner Drummer and Singer Isaiah Cada. Through song, prayer, dance and storytelling, the memorial will be inspirational and educational. It will also help us develop durable partnerships that reflect our shared generational trauma, spirituality and hope. To watch the service, CLICK HERE.
• Rabbi Grushcow Sermon on residential schools and reconciliation
Rabbi Grushcow of Temple Emanu-El-Beth-Sholom in Montreal Quebec has made her Kol Nidre sermon available in both English and French to read. As well, the sermon was recorded so there is the option to watch it. Check back here for a resource page that Rabbi Grushcow and her affiliates are putting together.
• Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples: Not Just for Governments
Watch the video recording from a recent Lunch Together conversation with Deborah Corber, titled, “Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples: Not Just for Governments”
This program is brought to you from Temple Emanu-El-Beth-Sholom in Montreal Quebec.
• Collective Repentance: A Jewish lens on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
By: Assistant Rabbi of Temple Shalom in Vancouver BC. Rabbi Carey Brown has made her Yom Kippur Sermon on the subject of Reconciliation available in both written and video format.
• Truth & Reconciliation – Shared Narratives of Hardships, United Hope for Healing
On the surface, the collective narratives of the Jewish people and the Indigenous people differ greatly. However, both peoples share commonalities in their commitment to peoplehood, spirituality and investment in the land. Further, both nations have suffered unspeakable hardships in their histories and today face the challenges of holding this troubled past close and identifying a pathway forward. This journey of healing can be fostered in tandem. Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg, a grandchild of Holocaust Survivors and Kim Wheatley, Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation, will reflect on their shared conversations as keepers of their families’ stories. They will each speak to the importance of documenting past histories internally within their respective communities, and externally with their neighbouring communities, as a means to build bridges and to heal wounds of the past.
Virtual Presentation via Zoom by Kim Wheatley (an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation Reserve located in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario) and Rabbi Mikelberg – Shared Narratives of Hardships, United Hope for Healing
Rabbi Dara Lithwick writes about attending the Reconciliation ceremony on Parliamentary Hill September 30th. In this meaningful and informative article, Rabbi Lithwick reflects on the responsibility to make reconciliation a way of life and how Judaism plays a role.
• Other Links, Books and Resources
NCTR teacher resource library: NCTR Public
Documentary: Without Words (2015) imdb.com
Jules Koostachin: Without Words Director - Q&A (YouTube)
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation resources:
They Came for the Children (short history and experience booklet): https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2012/cvrc-trcc/IR4-4-2012-eng.pd
TRC’s Calls to Action: calls_to_action_english2.pdf (gov.bc.ca)
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
PARENTAL RESOURCES (can find at Goodminds.com)
“Stolen words”by Melanie Florence – Kindergarten to Gr. 2
“ The Orange Shirt Story” by Phyllis Webstad – Grades 3-5
Please check back often as we are constantly updating this page. Do you have an event, program or link you would like to share on the topic of Reconciliation? Click HERE to contact us.