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.
The field of progressive Jewish organizing is growing––and quickly as this country’s residents’ freedom and ability to thrive are more and more blatantly threatened. Even as it grows, it is rare to find a group that puts so much thought and care, not only in the work we do, but how we do it.
This community has taught me that organizing for a truly equitable world requires playing the long game. By this I mean not only that the work can be slow (although it can), but also that it requires visioning that equitable world and embodying it in the ways we work to move towards it. This looks like centering compassion, respect, and deep reflection in the ways we interact with each other, with partners, the ways we bring people into the work, invest in people’s skills, talents, goals, and growth.
I am so grateful to each of you for taking the time to invest in my growth. Thank you for trusting me, welcoming me into this community, and for giving me opportunities to stretch and fail and try again. This fieldwork placement with DJJ has been the highlight of the past year for me. I have learned so much about organizing, Detroit, and my own capacity. While I am sad that it has come to an end (I’m not crying, you’re crying!), I am excited to take these lessons into the future.
I have one more year of JCLP and my MSW program (if everything goes according to plan), so I’ll be in Ann Arbor for at least that long. Don’t be a stranger!
With love and gratitude,