17 October 2020

Shiva Delivers: Jews in Solidarity with Black Grief

By Cicely Belle Blain

Madison Slobin and Becca Schwenk are chosen family - best friends entwined by culture, religion and a unique type of kinship. This powerful connection not only to one another, but to their faith and community of radical young Jews is what sparked their initiative, Shiva Delivers.

In June 2020, amid the landscape of a pandemic, the world exploded in outrage at the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. People of all races, backgrounds, religions and social classes navigated their unique roles in the revolution. Some took to the streets, some made donations, some read books to deepen their understanding of systemic anti-Blackness. It was — and continues to be — a moment of collective rage and resistance.

Schwenk is an equity and inclusion consultant and creative. Slobin is a queer activist, social justice educator and community leader. Their shared passion for justice, liberation and radical Judaism led them to found Shiva Delivers, a food-based response to the Black uprising. As active community members and graduates of a socialist Jewish summer camp in their teens, Schwenk and Slobin are perfect organizers for a Canada-wide movement of Jewish folks in solidarity with Black grief.

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Headshot of Cicely

Cicely Belle Blain

Editorial Director (they/them)

Cicely Belle is a Black, queer writer, activist and anti-racism consultant originally from London, UK. They are the founder and CEO of Bakau Consulting, a social justice informed equity and inclusion consulting company based in Vancouver, BC where they work with clients across six continents to enhance compassion, respect and a commitment to anti-oppression in a diversity of industries.

As a founder and former organizer of Black Lives Matter Vancouver, Cicely Belle is passionate about liberation work, systems change and radical empathy for a better world. In 2018 and 2020, they were listed as one of Vancouver’s 50 most powerful people and in 2019, as one of BC Business’s 30under30. They are the author of Burning Sugar and an instructor of Executive Leadership at Simon Fraser University.


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