We have a new federal holiday! Juneteenth. The Jewish social justice organization, Bend the Arc, emailed their constituents this information:
This Saturday, June 19, marks the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, commemorating the day when the news of abolition finally reached enslaved Black people in Texas.
On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay to enforce the emancipation of the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas — a full two and a half years after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is a day that honors and celebrates Black freedom and Black resistance, centering Black people’s unique contribution to the struggle for justice in the United States.
This year, Juneteenth lands on Shabbat, providing an important opportunity to reflect on our Jewish community’s commitments to dismantling anti-Black racism and working towards a country that is truly for all of us.
Today, we’re honored to share this Kaddish for Black Lives from our friends at Jewish Multiracial Network.
The Mourner’s Kaddish is part of the traditional practice of Jewish mourning, a method of expressing our grief that is immediately familiar to many Jews across location, denomination, and spiritual practice. This Shabbat, Jewish Multiracial Network is asking us to recite the Kaddish for Black Lives in remembrance of the countless Black people we have lost to racist violence and policy.
Our local SF Bay Area organization, Be’chol Lashon is hosting an online Juneteenth Shabbat at 2pm Pacific Time. See the details here.