Yavilah McCoy

Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, a nonprofit Jewish organization that provided Jewish diversity education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States. Raised in an Orthodox family, McCoy studied at Yeshiva University High School and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She has taught Judaic Studies, Hebrew, and English Literature in elementary and secondary schools. In directing Ayecha from 2000–2008, she worked with rabbis, synagogues, schools, federations and multiple agencies to increase awareness of Jewish diversity and expand inclusion for Jews of color. As an anti-racism activist, she has provided training and consulting to numerous social justice agencies both within and outside of the Jewish community. In 2008 she became director of the New England Curriculum Initiative, a non-profit educational consultancy that services 600 prep schools across the nation with religious diversity resources. In 2009 McCoy co-wrote and performed The Colors of Water, a Jewish gospel musical describing the matriarchal journey of four generations of her African-American Jewish family. In 2014 she established Dimensions Educational Consulting, through which she continues to support organizations in expanding their relationships across race, religion, identity and culture.


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Greetings Yavilah my name is Ishmael Gabriel just wanted to reach out and connect with other jews of color. Are there a group in the Maryland area I can connect with

​I am a friend of Yosef Ference, the guy who just wrote on your page before.
​We both agree that everything in your program is great for the cause of integration.
​If and when there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.


This for your children. Sorry I spelled wrong. I hope to hear from you whenever. I even know your friends the Womacks

Hi Yavilah its Yosef Ference how are you? You may  have remmeber I went to your talk at Beth Tifilah in Baltimore MD. I also spoke to you brifely. I also met your husband and your sons and I met your brother in law Nechemya and I spoke once to his wife on facebook. I just want to say that how wonderfu it is on advocating for Jews of color and to show people that Jews come into all coors as my mother use to say. I even went on facebook to be in a group of Jews agaist racism and discremation. People had even ask me would marry a black lady? I answer if she is Jewsih why not? I even said that on this group in facebook of orthodox Jews agaist discramtion and racim that I would be open to that. Good luck and I wish you lots of succes of your wonderful work of advocating of Jews of color and it definietly does not make a diference between blcak and white in Judism and I must say how wonderful its to do tjsi for your children.

Yavilah McCoy in The Colors of Water, a theatrical performance about her African-American family's journey in Jewish living.
Date of Birth

Brooklyn, NY
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Yavilah McCoy." (Viewed on April 18, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/mccoy-yavilah>.


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