JFREJ Spotlights the Alpert Family

Last week, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City lifted up the Alpert Family in their weekly Member Spotlight as a part of their current membership campaign. Alana and Sarra write about their finding a political home in JFREJ, building a Jewish justice movement in New York, Detroit, and elsewhere. 

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Summer Update

Last night, an intergenerational crowd gathered for our monthly meeting. Though the agenda had been planned well in advance, we made space to address this weekend’s events in Charlottesville. Leaders had the option to dig into our evolving engagement in the local struggle for water justice or participate in a sharing circle, both of which, we believe, are in service of dismantling white supremacy. Folks listened to each other share grief, fear, numbness, and rage and wrote hopes and prayers for our troubled country. One read:

 

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JFREJ Statement on Charlottesville

We were moved by a statement sent out by our friends and mentors at Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) in response to the events in Charlottesville this week. We include it in full below and echo their sentiments. Thank you to the folks at JFREJ for all the work you do and for lighting the way for DJJ. We are so proud to host M. Dove Kent, former director of JFREJ, in Detroit September 10th. View details here.

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Eli on how lessons from Detroit showed up on his trip to India

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This summer, I had the opportunity to lead a study abroad trip to India for undergraduate students in the Global Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. Together, we spent five weeks in India doing field research in the slums of Ahmedabad, working with native communities in Dediapada, and learning with students who have physical disabilities at the SKSN school in Rajasthan.

Personally and professionally, my experiences in India constantly asked me to confront social injustices in a new context, for which I often felt unsure or unequipped to tackle, let alone guide students through. However, I quickly realized that while the space may be different, the injustices occurring in India operate through the same dimensions of power that lie at the center of the injustices we work against in Detroit and metro-Detroit.

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Prioritizing Obligations

In 2009, Rabbi Alana wrote an article for My Jewish Learning about this week's parashat, expanding on how the words of Deuteronomy provide a Biblical case study for holistic, non-hierarchical global justice work. Check it out here!  

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Daniel on Breathe Free Detroit

It’s time to hold the Detroit Incinerator accountable for its negligence and abuse. In February 2017, The East Michigan Environmental Action Center, along with a team of other environmental justice groups and concerned citizens, formed a coalition to demand that this dirty institution stop poisoning Detroiters. 

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What I Said (& Didn’t Say) on NPR

 
I was honored to participate in a panel of millennial clergy on NPR’s On Point last week. Ray Suarez wanted to know: why would we choose this path when our peers are so clearly moving away from religion? I challenged the premise. 

 

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"Defending Freedom" Roving Symposium

Trivia question! Are DJJ Leader Zak and Rabbi Alana in Rome, Athens, or Detroit? You guessed it! They're standing on the steps of the Pantheon-inspired former Temple Beth El, designed by Albert Kahn, stewarded lovingly by Breakers Covenant Church International. Thank you Jewish Historical Society of Michigan for organizing the Roving Symposium that DJJ leaders attended last Sunday -- "Defending Freedom" examined the racial and other social justice movements of 20th century Detroit.

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Reflections on '67 Rebellion Programs

This summer, Detroit Jews for Justice hosted an event series in partnership with several community organizations to recollect, interrogate and contextualize the 1967 civil uprising. Participants came away from the events with a more nuanced understanding of the summer of '67 and how its legacy impacts our relationships to Detroit today. 

This blog post represents a wrap on our '67 Rebellion summer programming! That is, the scheduled ​commemorative events have come to a close. Look out for book talks and learning groups possibly coming your way. 

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We're signed on to the Housing Trust Fund Coalition!

We're pleased to announce that we've signed on to a very exciting new initiative -- the Housing Trust Fund Coalition. This self-sustaining fund would provide funding for low-income Detroiters' housing and is being sponsored by City Councilperson Mary Sheffield. Read more about the effort below. You or your organization can endorse here and learn more about how you can mobilize in the coming months.

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