When I applied to the Jewish Communal Leadership Program (JCLP) at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, I was a participant in the Avodah service corps program in New York City. I hadn’t spent much time up until then in an intentional Jewish community that also aligned with my values, and I knew that after I finished Avodah, I would want to find that community in graduate school. Luckily for me, not only did I find that community in JCLP, but I also found it through my field placement at Detroit Jews for Justice.Read more
After conducting a thorough national search, we are thrilled to introduce DJJ’s new Executive Director: longtime leader and staff organizer, Allie Zeff. Allie has been an essential part of the leadership team that has helped grow and strengthen DJJ, positioning us to make a greater impact in the coming years.Read more
Over the course of the summer months, the Freedom and Thriving Team leaders banded together to create an incredible learning series arc, called the Direct Action Summer series. This series was aimed at bringing together members of the DJJ community to learn about collective action, showing up in activism spaces as a Jew, nurturing discomfort with direct actions, and empowering ourselves to participate in direct actions while representing DJJ.Read more
We are KVELLING over the recent article in GEEZ Magazine written by none other than our incredible Programs Associate for Racial Equity, Kendra!Read more
This past week we celebrated the festival of Sukkot. During Sukkot, Jews traditionally sit in huts called Sukkot and shake four species (the frond of a palm tree, citron, myrtle, and willow) as part of their religious services.
One of the major themes of the holiday is water.Read more
In the fall of 2019, I went to a Shabbat dinner and a friend pulled me aside to tell me about an opening at Detroit Jews for Justice and encouraged me to apply.
Who knew what a blessing the simple act of showing up for a community gathering had to offer me? DJJniks know.Read more
When I applied for the Repair the World fellowship (which ultimately led me to become a part of DJJ), my world was a different one. It was December of 2019, I was a senior in college, I had never in my life worn a face mask before, and I didn’t even realize that I was applying to work for Jewish organizations in Detroit. In December of 2019, all I was looking for was a job that would allow me to stay in the US after graduating from college. What I got, however, was so much more!
TLDR: DJJ is looking for our new ED!
In 2014, when I was recruited to Detroit to serve as a part-time congregational rabbi and part-time justice organizer, we never imagined what DJJ could become in just a few short years.
Because of your commitment, we have become a force. Over the last 7 years, DJJ has grown rapidly, attracting hundreds of leaders and donors, building powerful relationships in the social justice field, providing critical services to the Jewish community, making a real impact on issues and culture, and firmly positioning itself as a respected player in the progressive space in Detroit and in the national Jewish justice movement. A healthy combination of grassroots gifts, major donors, and foundation support allow us to step confidently into the next phase
Our growth and development have made it clear that DJJ needs a full-time executive director! At this moment in DJJ’s trajectory, undivided attention is critical. I’m so proud to have led DJJ to this point, and am also clear that this is a healthy time for me to make space for a new leader who can seize upon the full potential of this ripe political and spiritual moment, locally and nationally. A full-time ED will be able to take the incredible foundation that we have built together and nurture us into an organization with more capacity, resources and power to put toward affecting the racial and economic change we want to see.
DJJ's star-studded first Shabbaton in 2015
We have brought together a brilliant search committee! Bobbi Spiegler, Syma Echeandia, Barry Rubin, Devin Samuels, Allie Zeff (staff liaison), and Cole Park (Organizer at Carolina Jews for Justice) are hard at work developing a job description and hiring plan. They would love to hear from you! Please email Devin at: [email protected] with any hopes and dreams for this transition. We hope to begin the search in earnest early this summer in preparation for a fall transition and will keep you posted on any timeline developments. We hope you will partner with us to spread the word and help us find a good shidduch/match for this exciting position.
I am just beginning to find words to describe how much this experience has impacted me as a rabbi and organizer, and I look forward to reflecting over the coming months. For now I’ll just say that I’m excited to continue showing up alongside you all in our fight for justice as a participant, activist, spiritual leader, host, cook, donor, schlepper - whatever we need!
My deepest gratitude to all who are and have been working to make this transition as intentional and successful as it can be.
Thank you for joining Detroit Jews for Justice for the 2021 Myra Wolfgang Awards - virtual gala.
"Sometimes reorganization is a proactive choice, and sometimes it chooses us. The pandemic has brought with it so much learning, and also enormous suffering. And while I know that this work of creating, and overthrowing, and building, and healing happens in the streets, and at the ballot box, and on lobby day, and in our inboxes, and board rooms, and kitchen tables, I know it also happens in our hearts."
Rabbi Alana, Founding Executive Director speaking at the 2021 Myra Wolfgang AwardsRead more