UMass Amherst Jewish Affairs

Jewish Affairs

Subject Index:
Black/Jewish relations

Recurring conflict between African American and Jewish students in the late 1980s and early 1990s is one of the reasons why the University created the Office of Jewish Affairs (in April 1995). So this issue has been a focus of many of our educational and dialogue programs.

Multicultural Freedom Seder
An annual celebration of Black/Jewish and multicultural unity and our yearning for universal liberation

Tenth Annual Freedom Seder
Our 10th annual celebration of multicultural and inter-faith unity. Some of the alumni who began this tradition (in 1999) and sustained it over the past decade were honored in a special ceremony, followed by an acappella concert of freedom songs in many languages including Zulu, Spanish, Hebrew, and Arabic (4/13/08)

The Afro-Semitic Experience in Concert
Cross-cultural explorations of the sacred and secular music of the African and Jewish diasporas (2/15/06)

Film series: "Blacks and Jews in America"
Four films exploring the relationship between African Americans and Jews... shown in conjunction with the class, "History of Black/Jewish Relations" (Oct-Nov 2005)

The Klezmatics and Joshua Nelson in Concert
Freedom songs from the African American and Jewish traditions. The culmination of our 10th anniversary celebration (4/20/05)

Jewish, Black communities unite for 'Freedom Seder' (Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 3/31/04)

Let Freedom Ring: Black/Jewish Relations
and the UMass Freedom Seder

One-credit course taught by Larry Goldbaum, director of the Office of Jewish Affairs (Spring 2004)

Celebrating unity and liberation: the Freedom Seder as an antidote to Black/Jewish conflict
Presentation at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (May 2003)

Genes, 'Lost' Tribes, and Jewish Identity
Is the Lemba community of South Africa a "Lost Tribe" of Israel? Lecture by Dr. Tudor Parfitt on the results of recent genetic research (4/6/00)

The Affirmative Action Debate
Lecture by Julian Bond, long-time civil rights activist, about the legacy of racism and the need for Affirmative Action "until all races are equal" (10/13/99)

Bridges & Boundaries:
African Americans and American Jews

Exhibition of photos, posters and other artifacts exploring the histories of African Americans and American Jews (Sept 11-Oct 22, 1999)

Bridges and Boundaries exhibition links Jewish, African American past (Jewish Advocate, 10/1/99)

History of Black/Jewish Relations in the U.S.
A new course exploring the complex history of Black/Jewish relations in the U.S. (premiered Fall 1999; taught triennially thereafter)

Friends or Foes? The complex history
of Black/Jewish relations

Review of John Bracey, Jr. and Maurianne Adams' definitive history of Black/Jewish relations in the U.S., the basis for their new course at UMass Amherst (Hampshire Gazette, 3/8/00)

Students unite at Freedom Seder
(Massachusetts Daily Collegian, 4/23/99)

Compassion in Action: The Jews of Sarajevo
Lecture by Dr. Jakob Finci, president of La Benevolencia, a Jewish educational, cultural, and humanitarian society in Sarajevo (10/30/98)

Extremist paper (The Spotlight) comes to town
(Daily Hampshire Gazette, 11/5/97)

Barebones Theater
Student theater troupe organized by the Office of Jewish Affairs, which performed educational skits about anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia (1996-97)

Hate Groups in America
Lecture and televised "Town Meeting" with Morris Dees, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center (3/5/96)


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photo of M.L.King, Ralph Abernathy, Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath


Student leaders of the 1999 Freedom Seder at UMass Amherst


"Fires in the Mirror" (Blacks & Jews film series)


"Bridges and Boundaries" exhibition


participants at the 1999 UMass Freedom Seder


"Strange Fruit" (Blacks and Jews film series)