DJJ organizes Metro Detroit Jewish community to participate in movements for racial and economic justice.
We envision a region that is more equitable and joyous for all, with an emphasis on supporting the rights and leadership of people of color, low-income workers, the unemployed, women, LGBTQI, immigrants, and others struggling against systemic oppression. We draw strength from Jewish tradition, thought and culture to sustain our work. Detroit Jews for Justice was founded by Congregation T’chiyah to live out their mission of making social change central to the life of their congregation and committed to being a social justice organization owned by the entire Jewish community of Metro Detroit.
What Do We Work On?
DJJ liaises to a number of different regional issues, and we do all of our work in partnership! Our core focus is currently clean and affordable water issues, which you can learn more about at detroitjewsforjustice.org/water. We mobilize in support of the following organizations and campaigns:
Water & Environmental Justice:
- People’s Water Board Coalition
- We the People of Detroit
- Breathe Free Detroit
- Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures
- United Community Housing Coalition
- Detroit Affordable Housing Trust Coalition
- One Fair Wage
- Paid Sick Time/MI Time to Care
- Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan
- Promote the Vote
- Voters Not Politicians
Immigration & Refugee Issues:
- Detroit Sanctuary City Coalition
- Freedom House
- Motor City Freedom Riders
- Transit Riders United
- Poor People’s Campaign
- Detroit People’s Platform
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do We Work? DJJ builds solidarity in the metro Jewish community for grassroots-led movements. We choose work that is actionable, winnable, and relevant to the lived experience of folks in our region. We weave arts, song, and prayer into our organizing practice, building relationships and sustaining our work. Nurturing a culture of learning, we offer opportunities for issue-based education, organizing training, and the study of history.
Why Do Justice? Systems of oppression hurt us all. We are connected to one another, to marginalized populations, and to those who perpetuate oppression. We all have a stake in the struggle for justice. We believe we can make such a world possible through organizing and coalition building.
Why Do It Jewishly? Torah instructs us: “Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – Justice, justice you shall pursue.” Our tradition and history as an oppressed people compels us to act. At the same time, we recognize that today the Jewish American community holds responsibility to use our privilege for social change. Our strategy builds from the strength of a well organized community, making new connections and leveraging our networks for social change.
Who is DJJ? We hail from suburbs, city, and other regions. We come from many socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, and each of us has a unique relationship with Judaism. We represent a spectrum of ages, genders, sexualities, and abilities. We seek to create spaces that center those who are marginalized in our community, including Jews of color, low-income Jews, elders, and young people.
Is DJJ religious? For many DJJniks, organizing for social change as Jews is their spiritual practice. We seek to build a community that takes Judaism seriously, drawing on tradition and ritual for inspiration, sustenance, and challenge. While it takes work to build intergenerational community centered around Jewish expression and learning, the desire to do justice acts as a powerful bridge between our diverse approaches to faith.
What is the Difference Between Social Service and Social Justice? Social service and charity try to address immediate needs such as food, clothing or shelter. Social justice movements try to change the conditions that create those needs. As Dr. Cornel West says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Existing organizations engage the metro Detroit Jewish community through a service model. While service is critical, it is urgent that we address the root causes of inequality. DJJ provides a vehicle to take part in systemic change.
Is DJJ Partisan? We seek to amplify the voices of grassroots communities -- not those of political parties or candidates. In the face of worsening inequality and attacks on civil rights, the public needs a platform to shape policies that impact their families and communities. We do not situate ourselves on one side of the aisle. Rather, we share a dedication to progressive policies - policies that will move us forward to a more equitable and inclusive region.