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At a time when white supremacy is on the rise, hate speech has become normalized, and hate crimes against Blacks and Jews have reached an all-time high, we examine the complex history of Blacks and Jews in the United States and explore current day issues that serve as roadblocks to deep, trusting relationships.


On February 16th, 2023, Dr. Terrence L. Johnson and Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau, authors of Blacks and Jews in America: An Invitation to Dialogue, unpacked the myths, misconceptions, and shared history of these two minority groups and modeled effective dialogue that creates a foundation for understanding and allyship.

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“A dialogue is necessary, but if it’s not connected to a shared commitment to emancipatory politics or a political vision, we will remain bitter, divided, and distorted by our middle class blues.”


— Dr. Terrence Johnson



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Dr. Terrence L. Johnson is Professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School. His research interests include African American political thought, ethics, American religions, and the role of religion in public life. Johnson's interdisciplinary research agenda is historical, critical, and constructive. He weaves together African American religions, political theory, and American history to paint broad conceptual schemes for imagining religion, democracy, ethics, liberalism, justice, and freedom.

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Dr. Jacques Berlinerblau is currently the Rabbi Harold White Professor of Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Berlinerblau has published on a wide variety of issues ranging from secularism, to religion and politics, to Jewish-American fiction, to African-American and Jewish-American relations, to American higher education.

He has published thirty-five scholarly articles and ten books. Berlinerblau has written for, appeared on, or had his work discussed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Salon, The Guardian, The New Republic, The Nation, NPR, Tablet, Commentary, The Forward, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Canadian Broadcast Network, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Al-Jazeera, PBS, MSNBC, CBS, CBC, TF1, AFP, and CNN.



Langston is the president of the Monroe County Bar Association. He serves on the boards of The Children’s Agenda, Urban League of Rochester, Mental Health Association, and Uncommon Schools Rochester Prep. He is a volunteer high school boys’ basketball coach with the American Athletic Union and a volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Rochester. Langston was recognized on the New York Daily Record’s Power 20 Litigation List, The Best Lawyers in America© 2021-2023, and SuperLawyers© 2020-2021. 

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Jill Paperno is a Senior Civil Rights Litigator in the Civil Rights Practice Group.  Before joining Empire Justice she spent 35 years as a Public Defender, most recently as First Assistant Public Defender.  She has represented clients in all stages and types of criminal cases, and handled numerous felony trials.  Jill has presented Continuing Legal Education programs for over 25 years, and currently teaches a class on jury selection at Syracuse Law School.  She has participated in mentoring programs for attorneys in Schuyler and Onondaga counties.  Her book, Representing the Accused – A Practical Guide to Criminal Defense, was published in 2012.

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