DFI Diversity Workshop – Kaleidoscope

Date: 10/28/2019

Time: 8:30 am - 10:00 am

Location: The Weinberg Park Heights JCC Board Room

For Professionals and Lay Leaders

Vanessa Hidary, Hebrew Mamita- Founder/Director/Producer
Marques Hollie; Kaleidoscope Workshop Facilitator


Kaleidoscope  Workshop: Created by Vanessa Hidary & Kendell Pinkney

WHAT: The Kaleidoscope Workshop is a narrative-arts based, interactive, video workshop that highlights the personal stories of Jews of Color, and Jews from Sephardic & Mizrachi backgrounds to help communities develop greater receptivity and sensitivity to issues of Jewish diversity.

These stories were originally written in workshops with Vanessa and Kendell and performed in front of sold-out audiences at the 14th Street Y in New York City. The next two years Kaleidoscope Live traveled  to numerous venues and temples in the NYC Tri-State area. All shows were followed by stimulating Q&A sessions with the cast.

These post-show conversations confirmed the desire to discuss these complex realities within the Jewish Community and beyond.

At Kaleidoscope we believe the personal monologue is the most powerful tool to kick off these discussions. With that in mind, we wondered: How could we transport these powerful stories and discussions to communities all over the country in a portable package without losing the impact of the live, personal stories? Just as importantly, we wondered how could we inspire participants to share their own stories with us to continue this important work? Though our stories focus on the experiences of Jewish racial and cultural diversity, we believe that EVERYONE has a story to tell that reflects a time of feeling “othered” within and outside the Jewish Community. Sexual orientation, religious affiliations, economic status, gender, and disabilities, are among some of the many topics participants have touched upon in our sessions.

WHY: The Jewish community has always been diverse. From Eastern Europe, to North Africa, to India, to Ethiopia and beyond, Jews come in all hues and from many ethnic backgrounds. What is more, our communities continue to grow increasingly diverse with each year. Thus, embracing the full, complex reality of Jewish diversity is essential for any Jewish organization moving into the future.

HOW: Through personal stories, and community reflection,

Writing exercises to guide participants to a place of connecting with their own identity


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