We heard these powerful remarks from our friend Graham Kovich of Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan on Economic Justice Lobby Day in Lansing on June 6. Thanks to Graham for allowing us to post -- and to ROC and all our partners at Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan for all the amazing work you do!
My name is Graham Kovich. I am a 20 year veteran of the food service industry and an organizer with the Restaurant Opportunities Centers of Michigan, also known as ROC-MI for short. In my 2 decades of experience, I’ve stood behind concession stands and bar counters; I’ve had to stand in front of fryers, bakery ovens and stove tops and I’ve had to stand in line at an underfunded urgent care clinic after grabbing a butcher knife by the blade with my bare hand because a careless supervisor dropped it in the sudsy dishwashing sink and didn't tell anyone.Read more
A photo of us heading back from Lansing today -- where we joined our partners in talking to our state representatives about earned paid sick time and water justice. Thanks to Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan for putting together a great day!
Many of us wondered whether post-election fervor would die down by this time in the year. In these past months, the weather was gloomy and so was much of the news. Yet we’ve seen our community staying active in response to bleak policies - on the phone lines of legislators, in progressive organizations and in the streets. In particular, I am immensely proud of what DJJ has accomplished.
Shalom all! I hope this introductory blog finds you well. I’m frankly starstruck to be writing to you from my platform as DJJ’s new Program Associate.
DJJ leader Marty recently wrote an op ed for the Detroit Jewish News on the need for real regional transit in Southeast Michigan, urging support for Motor City Freedom Riders' rally this Friday, May 12th:
Over these next three weeks, the Motor City Freedom Riders are gearing up for a “Rally for Real Regional Transit.” The event is also being supported by Detroit Jews for Justice. I urge the Metro Detroit Jewish community to attend and raise its voice for accessible and affordable public transit. The 3-mile QLine streetcar, a $140 million project that duplicates existing bus service along Woodward, is opening May 12 to a planned celebration by “local officials and dignitaries.” Meanwhile, those same officials and dignitaries continue to do very little about the ongoing transportation crisis in our region, as thousands of Southeast Michigan residents are stranded by the lack of adequate transit service in the city of Detroit and the suburbs.
Details on the rally can be found here. Email our transit justice liaison Bobby at firstname.lastname@example.org to join DJJ'niks in attending.
No two Seders are the same, for me this year's seders were unique for two reasons: Number one- Just days before passover, my brother Ilan's son was born, and I became an Uncle for the first time! While my parents were in Israel celebrating and attending the bris, I stayed in Detroit, connected by WhatsApp, and attended friends' seders. Which brings me to the second unique seder piece:
The 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the hosts of my first night's Seder, the Lerman-Sinkoff family, were planning to use the Detroit Jews For Justice '67 Passover Supplement even without my suggestion. I did bring extra copies of course. For me it was interesting to hear from individuals who lived through the moment - some had memories of the Merchandise Mart explosions, others memories of police reactions, and still others memories of not really understanding the depth of what was going on. Rooted in memories, we had an excellent discussion sharing our thoughts on oppression, violence, and uprising. I learned of the difference between tactical non-violence and moral non-violence, and heard great and passionate arguments for why seder participants believed that violence was either never a good solution or why it was often times the only possible solution. While we did not all agree, hearing the arguments play over the seder was interesting and new for the table for me. I'm glad to have been enriched by the conversation!
Sara Lerman Sinkoff, Ruth Lerman, and Mark Sinkoff, my excellent seder hosts.Read more
Check out this video of our Purim brunch and spiel! Filmed and edited by the incredible Natasha Tamate Weiss and featuring the talents of Corn Potato String Band and Devin Samuels. A big shout out to our gracious hosts at Ant Hall and to all our leaders who made this event so powerful and joyful. Click here to to see photos!
DJJ leader Rachel wrote the following supplement for our first-ever Passover event, "Let My People In" on April 15. Read it below!Read more
Urgent Action Alert: we've just heard from friends in Ohio that a community member is being threatened with deportation in DETROIT. Call ICE at 313-568-6049, refer to Maribel's A-Number: 088 922 375 and ask for Rebecca Adducci's office. Ask her office to Free Maribel Trujillo-Diaz NOW! #FreeMaribel Make the call, sign the petition. The AMOS Project #jewishresistance - may the Passover holiday strengthen our resolve.
Don't get us wrong, we've got a hell of a lot of work to do. But that's just it - WE do. Trumpism's onslaught is meant to exhaust us, a strategy that feeds on our sense of atomization. Don't take the bait! We should always push ourselves and each other to do more, but sometimes, as individuals and organizations, we have to say "dayeinu", and keep working to build a movement with capacity on all fronts.
A liberatory Passover to all!!!