Last month we were honored to be invited to Frankel Jewish Academy in West Bloomfield for their annual MLK, Jr. Day Assembly. DJJ Community Organizing Intern Eleanor Gamalski presented to the students about the Jewish tradition of working for social justice, and how DJJ hopes to be a part of that legacy. You can read her speech below.
Hello to everyone - thank you so much for hosting me in honor of the approach of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and I think one of the most important. I’m very grateful to have this opportunity to speak with you. I thought I’d start by talking a bit about the Jewish impetus to work against injustice, as well as Jewish involvement in social movements throughout history and here in metro Detroit. I’m also excited to tell you about the work we’re doing today with Detroit Jews for Justice.
By: Rachel Lerman
On November 10, 2015, workers and supporters in cities all around the country joined together to support the Fight for $15- a national campaign fighting to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. In Detroit, a large rally took place downtown in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center with over 300 people in attendance. A group of DJJ members met at the rally to stand in solidarity with workers, organizers and other faith groups who were there.
Last year, Rabbi Alana was invited to speak at a Michigan United Justice Assembly discussion on Police Accountability & Civilian Oversight. Her comments are included below.
It’s an honor to be sharing a few words with this powerful gathering
I was asked to speak on the theme of repentance.
Repentance is a concept which sounds a little foreign to Jewish ears…
The closest word we have for repentance is Tshuvah –
it means turning, or to return, or to go in the opposite direction
It operates on the assumption that the person doing t’shuva is GOOD,
good at their core;
that if they just turn around – RETURN,
then they will return to goodness and righteousness.
The word sin also does not translate easily to the Jewish faith.
it seems to assume intentionality.
Our word for sin, Chet, means “to miss the mark”
it assumes we meant to do right.
We aimed for goodness and we missed.