Have you seen Jews for Racial & Economic Justice’s (JFREJ) amazing learning resources about antisemitism?
This month, JFREJ published a large reading, Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to our Movement, and handouts and recordings from JFREJ’s workshop on antisemitism at the Women’s Convention. Here's how JFREJ describes Understanding Antisemitism:
"Changing the conversation about antisemitism requires listening to new voices, which is why this resource was authored by a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational team including Black, Mizrahi and white Ashkenazi Jews, with editorial review and support by Jews with ethnic and national identities from many countries including Puerto Rico, India, Iraq, Syria, as well as non-Jewish allies from many racial and ethnic backgrounds...
This project was conceived in conversation between Aurora Levins Morales and Dove Kent, and grew from a series of teaching calls about the impact of antisemitism on JFREJ’s organizing work. Aurora joined JFREJ for two years as a Poet and Elderin-Residence, contributed in substantial ways to shaping our vision, and wrote much of the initial draft of this paper. The work then passed into other hands, but Aurora both planted and watered the seeds."
I’m making my way through the rich materials carefully and enthusiastically. These resources are exactly what I’ve been craving ever since September. Back then, funding from the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable and Detroit Equity Action Lab brought movement leaders Dove Kent (former Executive Director of JFREJ) and Koach Baruch Frazier to Detroit to lead a weekend of critical workshops on the intersections of antisemitism and racism. Shoutout to Repair the World and the Ford Resource & Engagement Center for hosting us! You can see a video of one workshop’s highlights here and DJJ leader Essie’s reflections on another workshop here).
Whether you joined us or not, JFREJ’s materials will deepen your understanding of how antisemitism operates in our world. That September weekend was full of rich dialogue, deep learning, and community building -- a great container for diving deep into the intensity and complexity of the content while feeling supported and seen. Each workshop was tailored for a unique demographic: DJJ’s community partners, steering committee, & regional base; and Jewish social justice organizations in the Midwest. I’m struggling to articulate how important that weekend was/these resources are for me. The image coming up for me as I think about the value of these things is a slow and steady stitching together of a soft cloth that’s long been tattered.
I’m so grateful for all who collaborated tirelessly to produce and disseminate the crucial resources above. DJJ proudly calls JFREJ our mentors and comrades. If you’ve got New York-based folks in your life, send ‘em JFREJ’s way. You can also keep up with JFREJ via their Facebook or email list.
"Muslims form a protective circle around Jews praying at a synagogue in Oslo, Norway, 2015."
Image sourced from jfrej.org/understanding-antisemitism-an-offering-to-our-movement/