Fall Update 2018

Dear friends,

T’chiyah, our amazing host synagogue, recently brought renowned eco-feminist, anti-war activist, and poet Marge Piercy to town for a poetry reading. One of my favorite Piercy excerpts is from “The Low Road”:

It goes on one at a time,

it starts when you care

to act, it starts when you do

it again and they said no,

it starts when you say We

and know who you mean, and each

day you mean one more.


In the wake of violence in Pittsburgh and Jeffersontown, the end of daylight savings, and ongoing water shutoffs in Detroit, darkness looms heavy. Undeniably, on Tuesday we took significant steps towards advancing our democracy, especially from the passing of Props 2 & 3. But even if all our wildest electoral dreams were realized, the tools for calling forth the light, for building out the we, would not be changed.

Regardless of our government’s makeup, our demands for clean, affordable water for all, for housing justice, for worker rights, would not be changed. We adapt, and our power grows.

After 2016’s election, Rabbi Alana and Eleanor wrote a note to our most core leaders:

We honor you... You are what democracy looks like - and we celebrate you.”

After Tuesday’s election, the only thing I’d add is that the “you” that YOU make up today is twice as large as 2016’s. Our core leadership team doubled in two years. We’re outliving them.


Valeriya Epshteyn

Program Associate

On the horizon

35264957_942616209253623_3920455394853388288_o.jpg8 Days of Water Justice

December 2nd-December 10th, online

DJJ leaders are developing a social media campaign that will tie the story of Hanukkah to our struggle for water justice. Subscribe here to receive daily emails throughout Hanukkah, with educational content on local water issues and clear actions you can take to advocate for clean and affordable water. Stay tuned for more info to share with your networks!

Save the Date: Water Justice Gathering at Menorah in the D

Sunday, December 2nd, 6:30PM, Campus Martius

24294052_10208510582796885_5574828370010385511_n.jpgJoin us for a DJJ gathering at the annual Menorah in the D celebration. Immediately after the official candle-lighting, we will gather at 6:30pm for song and ritual and to hear from speakers about local struggles for clean and affordable water. **RSVP here!** More details coming soon.

Facing Race

Nov 8 - 10, Cobo Center, Detroit

DJJ is on the Local Host Committee for this amazing convening of over 70 workshops and 180 presenters. Register here today!

DJJ New Leader Orientation

Thursday, December 13th, 6-8PM, location TBD

Have you been thinking about getting more involved in DJJ? Our in-depth orientation will help you learn how. RSVP here! (If you want to learn more about DJJ in the meantime, reach out to Director of Organizing, Eleanor, at [email protected] to meet with a current leader.)

Babies, Bubbies & Babke

5th Saturday of every month, 10AM-Noon, 15000 W. 10 Mile Rd, Oak Park

Do you delight in warm, intergenerational community? Want to (consensually) pinch the cheeks of the next generation of progressive Jews? Come out to T’chiyah for a special Saturday morning Shabbat service designed for the whole mishpokhe (family)! Accessible, short, sweet & songful, with a light nosh afterwards. All are welcome! This is a recurring event that will begin on 12/29 and repeat on every 5th Shabbat of the month. Questions? Email [email protected]

Become a Repair the World Fellow

Our comrades at Repair the World - Detroit (including Zach, interning with us this year) are looking for next year’s crew of Fellows. Apply here by January 31st to make the priority deadline!


On the blog

Meet our new leaders:

Meet Zach, our Repair the World Intern!

Meet Lauren, our Jewish Communal Leadership Program Intern!

Welcome to our new Steering Committee!

On the Poor People’s Campaign:

Watch & Read: Relive the Poor People’s Campaign

Rabbi Brent Gutman speaks at Michigan PPC

Rabbi Alana and Rev. Wylie-Kellerman talk disobedience in Rosh Hashanah sermon

On water justice:

Rabbi Silverman Speaks at Water Justice Press Conference

The Water Team's Candidate Survey Project

On grassroots fundraising:

How Fundraising IS Organizing

Grassroots FUNdraising Training Reflection

DJJniks reflect on great programs:

Dan Klein’s thoughts on the Daniel Kahn concert

Reflection on August General Meeting

DJJniks attend Let My People Sing

On the bookshelf

The water justice struggle continues

Surviving without running water has become a way of life in Detroit

Baltimore bans water privatization

Resources for deconstructing antisemitism:

JFREJ’s Understanding Antisemitism - An Offering to our Movement

The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of Our Movements

Skin in the Game: How antisemitism animates white nationalism

Writings by powerful Jewish voices

Davening: A Guide to Meaningful Jewish Prayer

Marge Piercy poetry selections

In the News

Press Features from Pittsburgh Vigils

Rabbi Alana and Dawud Walid - Intolerance lies below the surface in America

Eleanor featured in article about Jewish Millennials in Detroit

Y’shkoyach* to Our Comrades…

*y’shkoyach, short for yasher koach means “more power to you!”

Making it Happen

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