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Can We Talk? Building Bridges Instead of Walls

At a time of heightened racial tensions and deep socio-political divisions, American Blacks and Jews are being threatened, harassed, and even murdered in alarming numbers. It is more important than ever for the Black and Jewish communities to build mutual support networks and form a united front to fight the perils around us. Unfortunately, however, Black-Jewish ties have not been tended to in recent decades, leading to an undeniable and undeniably worrisome erosion of relations.

Repairing those relations will take time, and the time to start is now! In this spirit, we invite you to join us for three cross-cultural and interracial programs at the Maine Jewish Museum. No academic jargon, no finger-pointing, no shaming — just a warm and welcoming coming together around art, food, fun, and good old-fashioned conversation. More than anything, this come-to-one-or-come-to-all programmatic series is designed to catalyze the moment and create better understanding and empathy among Mainers of all races and backgrounds.

Thursday October 6, 2022
4:00 pm -5:30 pm

In Session 1, we invite you to share your story and listen to others’ stories with an open heart and mind. The conversation will be facilitated by local artist Paula Gerstenblatt, artist and educator Daniel Minter, and USM History professor Dr. Leroy Roe. We promise the coffee will be strong, the cake will have frosting, and you will leave with more friends than you came with.

Thursday October 13 2022
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

In Session 2, we encourage you to bring artifacts that speak to your identity and your authentic self — local artist and award-winning community builder Paula Gerstenblatt will teach you how to turn them into a beautiful collage. Please RSVP by October 10th to .

Art to feed your soul and wine and cheese to feed your bellies!

Thursday October 20 2022
4:00 pm -5:30 pm

In Session 3, we ask that you bring a vegetarian dish representative of who you are, along with your vision for continuing the community building.