Dismantling Racism From
The Inside Out

A New IOWA Project Curriculum

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 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.

We’re currently in the process of piloting the curriculum, and will be making it more widely available in the fall of 2022. Sign up to receive news and updates on the launch of this program, below:

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Bring to Your Community
or Attend Our Facilitator Training

Join us in Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out

Sign up to receive news and updates on the launch of this program.

Whether you're looking to bring this to your synagogue or organization, get trained to facilitate the curriculum, or participate online or within your community, please fill out the form that best suits your needs, and we'll reach back out soon! 

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Participate in the Program

Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out is an approach to understanding and implementing the “how” of healing racial bias that draws on the Jewish wisdom and practice of Mussar. This approach is based on the following conceptual frameworks:


  1. The Dynamic Tension between Hierarchies of Care and Balance of Care: All human communities and groups create hierarchies of care that naturally privilege those closest to the self. Jewish tradition expresses this system of prioritization with the concept of, “the poor of your city come first” regarding Tzedakah/philanthropic giving.  These natural hierarchies of care can become distorted into unhealthy caste systems when they become racialized and people of African heritage are deprioritized for care by the dominant culture.  To heal ourselves and our social systems we need more balance of care, particularly regarding people of African heritage.  

  2. Concrete Acts of Care can Change Attitudes: Implicit biases and unconscious adverse behaviors towards people of African heritage are changed through concrete acts of care.  External action impacts our internal reality more than cognition alone.  

  3. The Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar is designed to get the heart to feel what the head knows through concrete action.  The language of the heart is practice and Mussar is a discipline of concrete acts of practice.  Mussar uses a framework of middot/character traits to organize a program of growth, drawing on Torah wisdom about the traits and concrete practice to integrate ideas into the whole self.  

  4. Integration: Our approach fully integrates both racial justice training and Mussar tradition. 


This Course will help you:

  • Gain practical tools, based in Jewish wisdom, for building relationships and taking action outside of the constraints imposed by racism.

  • Learn a framework for understanding the impact of racism on societal, interpersonal and intrapersonal levels. 

  • Create neural pathways and habits for feeling and acting with compassion towards oneself, towards people of different racial backgrounds and towards people with whom you are in conflict about racial justice.

  • Gain practical tools, based in Jewish wisdom, for confronting manifestations of racism and skilfully engaging with ideological opponents. 

  • Understand and practice the dismantling of racism as a spiritual practice and pathway to serve the Divine.


This course is for you if you are a:

  • Racial justice activist and in need of spiritual nourishment

  • Racial justice trainer, organizer or educator looking to add Jewish spiritual wisdom to your toolbox

  • Member of a Jewish community or group that cares about racial justice and is looking for a way to integrate this concern with Jewish spiritual practice. 

  • Leader of a Jewish community or group that cares about racial justice

This curriculum was developed by Yehudah Webster and Rabbi David Jaffe, with support from Dan Gelbtuch.

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Pilot Program

Dismantling Racism from the Inside Out pilot programs are currently taking place in various organization and communities. Follow along below, and by signing up for our email list!

Our Pilot Participants


Our Pilot Facilitators


Yehudah Webster,
Curriculum Creator

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Rabbi David Jaffe,
Curriculum Creator

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Rabbi Benjamin Barnett


Jessica Valoris


Marian Weisenfeld


Rabbi Michael Ramberg


Rabbi Robin Podolsky


Rabbi Sandra Lawson