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Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives

The Dybbukast, Season 1, Episode 7: Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives

Season 1, Episode 7

In Episode 7, presented in collaboration with Lilith magazine, we share performed readings from and explore issues intersecting with a piece of writing published in Lilith in 2020 titled “Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives.” The work takes a liturgical poem which speaks about the nature of existence and is central to the Jewish High Holidays and builds upon it, reimagining it to speak about the killing of Black people in the U.S.

Imani Romney-Rosa Chapman, the founder and director of imani strategies and author of the piece, talks about the work itself while also discussing related historical and societal considerations.

Read the transcription for "Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives"


Hosted by Aaron Henne

Scholarship provided by the work's author, Imani Romney-Rosa Chapman

Edited by Mark McClain Wilson

Story editing by Aaron Henne with Julie A. Lockhart

Featuring the voices of Cassandra Blair, Joshua Wolf Coleman, Julie A. Lockhart, Rebecca Rasmussen, Clay Steakley, Diana Tanaka, Jonathan C.K. Williams, and Mark McClain Wilson

Theme music composed by Michael Skloff and produced by Sam K.S.

Additional thanks to Kellie Davis for her contributions to this episode.

Transcription by Dylan Southard

"Unetaneh Tokef for Black Lives" Learning Resources

Articles from Lilith Magazine:

Referenced in the episode:

Exercises For Educators:

Watch with captions on YouTube:

Also From Our Artists

Litany - Who Shall Live?

To accompany the episode, we invite you to listen to an audio experience composed and created by Fahad Siadat, who composed the music for our 2019 production, hell prepared, and is also the composer for our upcoming production, breaking protocols. In this piece, Fahad brings together audio from the episode, new musical composition, and sounds taken from protests in the United States to reflect on the themes and issues discussed in the episode.



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Independent, Jewish & frankly feminist since 1976, Lilith’s mission is to be the feminist change-agent in and for the Jewish community: amplifying Jewish feminist voices, creating an inclusive and positive Judaism, spurring gender consciousness in the Jewish world and empowering women, girls and trans and nonbinary people of every background to envision and enact change in their own lives and the larger community.


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