Eleanor's Goodbye

Three years ago, I joined Detroit Jews for Justice, first as an intern and eventually as Director of Organizing.

Tonight I will be leaving that role and joining the team of Congressman Andy Levin's office in Oakland/Macomb, where I'll get to continue to work for social justice from another arena!

A big and intense decision for sure, but one made so much easier by the fact that I leave behind so many incredible leaders who will grow this community's work for racial and economic justice far beyond my contributions. 

I'm also doing my best to give to DJJ in this transition and am aiming to fundraise $3600! You can help by donating or by sharing my FB post here.

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Coming Together for DJJ's December Orientation

30 new and returning leaders gathered together last night for orientation, an opportunity hear about DJJ's work, learn our core principles, get plugged into water and housing justice campaigns, and get to know each other. 

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Why I'm Here

Back in the simpler times of 2011, I was working as a reporter for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and I convinced my editor to let me write a story about Detroit's increasingly vibrant and unique Jewish community. Not only was it one of the most popular articles I ever wrote, but it changed my life. 
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...A miracle has happened here

Dear DJJ-niks,

I moved to Detroit in 2014 to plug into social justice work. I had no relationship to Jewish community until I showed up to a #BlackLivesMatter Hanukkah action. That night I joined dozens of Metro Detroit Jews -- many who I now call friends and comrades -- in harnessing our spiritual tradition to protest racist violence.

This year, we again gathered in Campus Martius, declaring our opposition to mass water shut-offs on the first night of Hanukkah. We kicked off our “8 Days of Water Justice” video series, tying the struggle of the Maccabees to Detroit’s struggle for water justice.

 

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Hanukkah Text and the Bravery to Act

Hanukkah gives us a chance to explore the question of visibility. We are called to display the miracle, as Jews all over the world place chanukiot in our windows for eight nights. In these times of elevated vulnerability, with increased attention given to white supremacist ideas, and in the aftermath of the deep loss in Pittsburgh, we may feel an instinct to shrink ourselves and hide.

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"Illuminating Water Justice" Featured in Detroit Jewish News

DJJ leader/water team member Rabbi Moshe Givental wrote a beautiful op-ed for Detroit Jewish News about our "Illuminating Water Justice" Hanukkah gathering on Sunday. In an excerpt, Moshe writes:

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The 9th Night of Hannukah

On the 1st night of Hannukah, we gathered downtown to declare our solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of Detroiters who have suffered inhumane water shut offs. We reflected on the miracle of light, and what action such abundance calls us to.

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Speaking Out Against Lame Duck

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Today, DJJ worker rights co-liaison Hayley Sakwa joined our partners in We the People-MI, rallying at the Capitol and submitting public comment to a hearing on SB 1175 & 1171. This fall, citizen ballot initiatives for strong legislation on paid sick time and increased minimum wage collected enough signatures to get on the ballot. However, the legislature rammed these bills through on their own, before the citizens could have a say, so they could proceed to severely roll back the protections they would offer Michigan workers. 

 



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Myra Wolfgang Awards

Next June, DJJ is putting on the first ever Myra Wolfgang Awards!

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Hanukkah Water Zine

Water Zine Front Cover by Hannah Lewis

For Hanukkah, art leader Hannah Lewis collaborated with the Water Team to create this awesome zine providing a deep-dive into regional water issues with illustrations and text drawn from Torah. 

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