Last Tuesday, October 24th, I woke up to learn that much of Oakland County, including a large part of Bloomfield Township (where we live), was under a water boil advisory due to the bursting of a water main the prior evening. I went into my kitchen to find the largest pot we own and filled it with water. I realized I couldn’t brush my teeth until the pot had boiled and wondered whether brushing my teeth the night before (before knowing about the advisory) harmed me in any way.Read more
If you know Detroit, then you are already angry about the housing crisis. You have driven through neighborhoods where there are only a handful of inhabited homes, or watched children walk past abandoned buildings on their way to school. During Sukkot, Dr. Bernadette Atuahene joined us in R. Alana’s sukkah to tell us where we can channel some of that anger.Read more
Our own Allie Zeff wrote this incredible piece for the Detroit Jewish News entitled "The Detroit Trash Incinerator is Environmental Racism." Allie writes:Read more
Bustle, an leading online magazine focusing on women's issues and voices, reached out to Rabbi Alana for an article entitled "How Antisemitism And Ivanka Trump Have Radicalized Young Jewish Women." Check out an excerpt below and read the full article here.Read more
On September 10th, more than 80 people joined us for "Jews, Race and the Struggle for Justice" a talk and discussion with Dove Kent and Koach Baruch Frazier. We were so thrilled to host these two Jewish spiritual leaders and powerful organizers, whose work has been a great inspiration for DJJ. Check out this video montage by Detroit filmmaker Natasha Tamate Weiss for a taste of the conversation.
Thanks so much to Dove, Koach, Natasha, and all who contributed.Read more
The Detroit Jews News published an op ed from DJJ leader Talia Schechet this week, a reflection on Rosh Hashanah and Michigan's water crisis. In urging the Jewish community to take action, Talia suggests attending DJJ's October 23rd panel and forum on the issue. In an excerpt, Talia writes:Read more
In the second weekend of September, we hosted a series of events with Dove Kent, former director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York, and Koach Baruch Frazier, a spiritual leader and activist based in St. Louis and Ferguson. Here, Essie shares about her experience in a workshop Dove and Koach facilitated for DJJ leaders.
On September 10, Detroit Jews for Justice hosted a racial justice training called “Practicing Resistance: Jewish Solidarity in Action and Community.” I attended the training hoping to gain some concrete skills related to racial justice and Jewish solidarity. Our incredibly dynamic facilitators, Dove Kent and Koach Baruch Frazier, made sure DJJ leaders left the session not only with such skills but also with a deep-seated sense of understanding, responsibility, and connection to the work.Read more
DJJ'niks turned out for actions this week to raise our voices against mass foreclosures in Detroit and unconstitutional tax assessments. On Thursday, we joined The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures and Moratorium NOW in protest outside Wayne County Treasurer's Eric Sabree's home, and on Tuesday, at his office downtown.Read more
Watch the whole thing! But if you want to make sure to hear R. Alana speak, skip to 1:07.
"When the poor people’s campaign came to Washington DC in 1968, 49 years ago, they approached a Jewish Community Center in downtown asking that the building’s showers be made available. The community center rejected the request -- and the story could have ended there. But a group of young rabble-rousers known as Jews for Urban Justice threatened a “pray in”, and the building was opened to the public. This victory meant the campaign gained some structural support -- a tiny step. But it means more to me. To me it means that ancient tradition can be harnessed by activist youth to push their community to participate most important movement work their time.
A D15 organizer said it best when he said "Labor Day isn't actually about BBQs; it's about workers...although they go well together."
The workers that we honor on Labor Day are struggling. They're struggling to pay their family's bills on a minimum wage paycheck, while corporate executives make billions. They're struggling to build marketable skills at a low wage job that only prepares you for other low wage jobs. And they're struggling to fight for worker rights when they don't have a union to represent their needs.Read more