Would you welcome a place to learn why some people are talking about reparations for African-Americans? A 5-session class, called The Stolen Beam Series*, will be held at the Jones Library in May and is sponsored by the Jones Library and the African Heritage Reparation Assembly. The Series was developed by members of the Reparations Committee of the Jewish Community of Amherst and will be co-facilitated by members of that committee.
*The name “Stolen Beam” is a reference to a Talmudic debate about the right thing to do when we discover that the house in which we live was built with stolen materials, “a stolen beam.” One rabbi argues that the entire house must be torn down and the beam returned. Another argues that it makes no sense to destroy the home, yet some form of acknowledgment and compensation is owed to the owners of the home. We therefore use the metaphor, The Stolen Beam, in recognition of the fact that much of our country was built on stolen land, with stolen lives and stolen labor.