Union for Reform Judaism: Jews of Color Affinity Space

Please join Deitra Reiser, Yolanda Savage-Narva and Evan Traylor, as they host a series of Affinity Space gatherings for Jews of Color and Jewish Adjacent People of Color (those of us who do not identify as Jewish, but are partnered with a Jewish person or part of a Jewish family).

Deitra Reiser (she/her) is a school psychologist and the co-chair of the Multiracial Sinai Committee at Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. She has been drawn to the work of intersecting identities, particularly race and Judaism as a Jew of Color and mother. In a collaborative effort, she designed a study curriculum to provide congregants tools to explore race and identity with the overarching goal of developing racial stamina to be antiracist. She has co-led study groups employing the curriculum, Building Racial Stamina in Jewish Community.  Deitra holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from The University of Wisconsin-Madison.    

Yolanda Savage-Narva (she/her) has twenty years of experience working with public agencies and non-profit organizations to promote equitable access to public health, eldercare and pedestrian safety. She is a Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-trained public health specialist who has led community-based efforts in community health assessments for Indian Health Service, public education for the Alzheimer’s Association, pedestrian safety and advocacy for America Walks, and health equity for the National Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Yolanda currently holds the position of Executive Director with Operation Understanding DC, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination. She is also a member of the JewV’Nation cohort, a fellowship sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism, a 2019 Schusterman Fellow, a vice-chair of the Religious Action Center’s (RAC) Commission on Social Action, a co-chair of the Racial Justice equity committee for the RAC, a Fellow of the Federation of Greater Washington, a member of Temple Micah in Washington, D.C. and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; an international Black sorority dedicated to community service and education. Yolanda is a graduate of Tougaloo College (Sociology) and has a master’s degree in education from Jackson State University. In her spare time Yolanda loves being outdoors, reading, birdwatching, playing sports and traveling with her family. 

Evan Traylor (he/him) is a first-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Originally from Oklahoma City, he graduated from the University of Kansas studying political science, Jewish studies, and leadership studies. Prior to rabbinical school, Evan worked at the Union for Reform Judaism for four years creating new projects and initiatives in college and young adult engagement. He currently serves on the leadership teams for Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and Jews United for Justice. Evan is a proud alum of University of Kansas Hillel, URJ Kutz Camp, Greene Family Camp, and served as North American President of NFTY. He currently lives in Washington D.C.