This could have been the headline for last week’s announcement from the City of Detroit that it was extending the moratorium on water shutoffs through 2022 AND getting serious about finding a permanent solution to the issue of water insecurity that has plagued too many Detroit residents for at least 20 years.
But, as we contemplate this victory just as Chanukah begins, we know that miracles don’t “just happen”. The arc doesn’t just bend. Whether it’s the Maccabees or Detroit’s water warriors, collective strength is required for the bending and collective action creates the miracle.Read more
It was Hanukkah 2016 -- DJJ’s 2nd Festival of Rights. Home visiting from college, I was delighted to find a growing progressive community dedicated to lifting up Jewish diversity. I was hooked.Read more
As COVID-19 infections and deaths soar, nearly 800,000 Michiganders are at risk of not having access to water for handwashing and other purposes during the pandemic.
DJJniks, I’m writing to you today to shed light on how, right before our eyes, the remembrance of the November Pogromes is being undermined by German government officials. I recently joined DJJ as an organizing intern after graduating from the University of Michigan in the spring. I’m originally from Heidelberg, Germany -- a place I hold very dear to my heart -- and it should be noted that I’m not Jewish myself, as I’m of Turkish and German descent. Growing up in Germany, I learned in-depth about the atrocities my ancestors have committed to millions of people during the Nazi era, as most school children in Germany do. Simultaneously, I learned to understand that antisemitism is not a thing of the past, but alive and well, in Germany and abroad. I want to use this opportunity to share with you an example of lived antisemitism, perpetrated by the German state.Read more
Take a breath. We made it past election day - and we got here together. I'm in awe of the dozens of DJJniks who fought for the rights of voters at the polls, who canvassed and called and texted to motivate more voters in Michigan, and for the team of Rabbis who have been amplifying the message: every person matters, every vote should count. We’re all better off when more eligible Americans—Black, Brown, and white—are able to vote.
We will stand together to ensure every vote is counted, our communities are protected, and we have a chance to build the future we want. We continue to fight for the democracy we deserve.Read more
Hello everyone! My name is Anabelle Keimach (she/her), and I’m very excited to start my internship at DJJ in partnership with UpStart’s JOC Career Development Program. I am from Sharon, MA and am currently taking a gap year before I start at the University of Vermont next fall. I will be majoring in Global Studies with a concentration in Fine Arts for my first year. Through my studies, I intend to gain a better understanding of the social, political, economic, and environmental problems nations face, which will aid me in being an educated voice for social change. Additionally, I hope to explore how to use art as a form of advocacy.Read more
Hey everyone! My name is Konrat Pekkip (he/him), and I'm beyond excited to start working with DJJ as part of my fellowship with Repair the World Detroit. I'm originally from Heidelberg, Germany, but I spent the last four years studying political science, international studies, and history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. During my time at UofM, I was able to gain some experience working in the organizing realm, as well as conduct my own research on the (not so) recent rise of fascism and the extreme right.Read more
L’Shana Tovah Umetukah!
Hey folks, Syma here. I’m a proud DJJ Steering Committee member, mother, grandmother, and Macomb County Jew. I hope this email finds you safe, well, and nourished by the holiday season. We will certainly need to stay nourished as we navigate the next few months together.
In my studies leading up to Rosh Hashanah, I was confronted by the concept of Teshuvah, often defined as repentance. Rabbi Shefa Gold says:
“Looking inward and looking outward: that's what we do on Rosh Hashanah. We stop long enough to look at the world and the year that has passed. But we also take the time to look at ourselves. If we can understand who we are and what's expected of us, then we can begin to change, to return. Every change begins within; it must start deep within our hearts. [...] This is the true meaning of Teshuvah.”
Several months ago, I began a personal journey into a deeper understanding of systemic racism.Read more
Before I even arrived in Michigan, I could tell that DJJ was a special organization, a special community. As I looked through DJJ’s website and read the Core Principles that guide our work, I could tell that the people who established DJJ were committed to justice and equity at every level of this project.Read more
Hi! I’m Kendra, DJJ’s new Program Associate for Racial Equity (PARE or, the Pear, if you will). I’m not new to DJJ, but this position is, and I’m so excited to work with all of you and with folks in similar roles across the country to grow and develop it. I remember hearing about DJJ starting up just as I was graduating from Roeper and moving down to North Carolina, where I was an active leader in our sister organization, Carolina Jews for Justice. In 2016, I visited Detroit for the holidays and found myself at the DJJ Festival of Rights Chanukah party. I remember thinking, “I like these people.”