My story as a DJJ organizer, turned volunteer, turned Deputy Director reflects where we’ve been and where we can go with your support.
Growing up, my interfaith family nurtured in me a drive to work for social justice and a strong Jewish identity, but those worlds never overlapped. That changed when at 21 I found an emerging group in Detroit that would become “Detroit Jews for Justice.” With a new cadre of Jewish progressive friends, I got a crash course in community organizing, and began to find my niche supporting local movements for justice grounded in my Jewish identity. Soon I was hired as DJJ’s first community organizer on staff – and I never looked back.
By age 25, when I left the organizer position, DJJ continued to shape my life. I joined the Board of my synagogue to build spiritual community and continued to support local justice movements. Further, my DJJ organizing experience was a backbone of my new work in public service. Eventually, I formally reengaged with DJJ as a Chair of the Freedom Team and deepened my appreciation for our community from a new vantage point.
Now at the brink of 30, DJJ is transforming me once again. As Deputy Director, I was welcomed back in ways that support both our organizational health and my own professional growth. In my new role, I wrestle with and implement the projects that light my fire these days - facilitating decision-making processes, tending to our work culture, and stewarding our new Board of Trustees. I feel so grateful to have new opportunities to push myself and support our team in a new chapter of my DJJ story.
While I’ve grown, so has DJJ. We’ve transformed from a motley crew of Jews showing up for protests, to a reliable and accountable partner that plugs our community into local movements for the long haul.
Looking forward, I can’t imagine the mutual transformation DJJ and I will have experienced when I’m 36! But I do know that your donation will help us to unlock those possibilities.
This year, for the first time, I signed up as a monthly donor to DJJ to honor our long-term reciprocal energy exchange. Will you join me in giving a monthly $36 donation to DJJ? Or a one-time gift of $36, $180, $360, or more?
Lastly, I want to emphasize that this is a special moment for DJJ. I have seen DJJ at its lowest—after the 2016 election when the transit ballot proposal got defeated on top of the obvious bad news quickly comes to mind. After this election day, we were celebrating wins on Prop 2, Prop 3, the Transit Millage, and an itty-bitty seismic political shift in Michigan.
With your support, I know there’s so much more we can do.