If you don’t already know, I’m telling you now: Detroit Jews for Justice is officially a 501(c)(3).
This is exciting news for many reasons, but I’m going to tell you why this matters to me.
When I first got involved with DJJ, I wanted to get involved with a Jewish community that cared about and worked to advance racial and economic justice. Throughout the past few years, DJJ has been involved with the fight to end the unjust and illegal foreclosures against Detroit homeowners, keep water affordable and accessible for Detroit residents, and be a voice for issues like abortion access and freedom for LGBTQ+ Michiganders. DJJ is a home for so many folks like myself who care deeply about these issues - and as many activists know, having a solid foundation and structure is important to build.
For the past couple years, we’ve been working on launching an independent 501(c)(3), and that day has finally arrived.
While on paper I'm telling you about a change in our tax status, our 501(c)(3) designation means so much more. It’s important news when it comes to affairs such as fundraising and growth, which are so important for a fledgling organization like ours. The fact that donors can now contribute to us directly is a big advantage. With these resources, DJJ can hopefully expand capacity and do the things that we’re all so passionate about – reaffirming what so many of us joined DJJ for initially! One hope is that DJJ can play a larger role in Metro Detroit Jewish communal life and really put our name on the map in a profound way.
Structurally, this is also big change for DJJ. We have our own Board of Trustees now -- and it’s full of amazing people diverse in experiences and identities. DJJ's Board has hit the ground running working to ensure the future of our organization and our strategic direction with the input of our community. Meanwhile, DJJ's partnerships and volunteer leaders continue to drive our day-to-day work.
It’s a new day for DJJ, and it’s time to celebrate. I’m glad that as DJJ’s Board Vice Chair and Development Committee Chair that I get to be part of this organization as it is gearing up for continued success. It’s a learning experience for so many of us transitioning to a 501(c)(3) and learning the ropes, and we were lucky to have many folks advising us in the process.
THANK YOU to everyone who has helped us in this journey! We couldn't have done it without you!
- Levi Teitel, Board of Trustees
Want to support our work as we move into this new phase? Donate to DJJ!
DJJ's Board of Trustees! From left: Sara Habbo, Devin Samuels, Joel Batterman, Caryn Noveck, Adina Alpert, Lisa Tencer, Susannah Goodman, Hayley Sakwa, Levi Teitel and Tova Perlmutter (and Mike Medow, not pictured.)