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.
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.Read more
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:Read more
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.
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.
Next June, DJJ is putting on the first ever Myra Wolfgang Awards!Read more
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.Read more
DJJniks gathered last night to make art out of recycled materials for Sunday's Hanukkah action: Illuminating Water Justice.Read more