For the first time, a Jew of color will lead pathbreaking diversity group Be’chol Lashon

Marcella White Campbell is executive director of the Be’chol Lashon organization. (Be’chol Lashon)

As the videos of George Floyd’s killing galvanized a historic wave of racial justice protests this past summer, the staff of one of the country’s leading organizations promoting Jews of color knew they had to make a big change.

For two decades, Be’chol Lashon had pioneered programming by and for Jews of color. Inspired by a Hanukkah gathering of diverse Jews in the San Francisco area in December 2000, it launched a summer camp for young Jews of color, a curriculum for children on the topic, a blog elevating the voices of multiracial Jews and a diversity training and consulting program.

But as the movement the group launched took hold, its leadership increasingly looked out of step. The group was founded by Diane Tobin and her late husband Gary, white parents who wanted their adopted Black child to know other Jews who were not white. They continued to helm the organization even as the number of groups representing Jews of color multiplied — and Jews of color took leadership roles.

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