DJJ is deeply embedded in community.
It's in our core principles:
The slow work of building relationships is at the center of DJJ. Organizing as a collective, we value democratic processes, striving to include all voices and practice transparent decision-making. We honor the tensions, frustrations, and intensity of building community. It is only through being rooted in a strong community that we can have strong relationships with others. We envision a metro Detroit where Jews in city and suburb are bonded through grassroots action to one another and to other communities. In a segregated and fractured region, strong and lasting relationships are critical to moving us forward.
We practice doykayt or “hereness,” a philosophy that compels us to engage in our immediate community, working alongside our neighbors. For DJJ, doykayt means organizing in metro Detroit at the city, regional, and state level. This choice is both strategic and spiritual. We believe our work is most meaningful and effective when we struggle against the injustices that are right in front of us and impact those around us. We seek a balance of engagement in Detroit, metro, and statewide issues.
So, what our community partners say about us matters.
Here are some testimonials from local leaders:
Valerie Jean, water activist:
“At the Hannukah Festival of Rights, I spent the eve with Detroit Jews For Justice eating fried food, singing, dancing, and snapping pictures. I was honored to be invited to light the menorah with other social justice warriors. It was a first. I'm so grateful."
Dessa Cosma, workers rights organizer:
"DJJ Rocks! I thank you for all of your work on Paid Sick Time for Michigan workers, including coming to Economic Justice Lobby day this year, bringing awesome people, jumping in and being an all-around a joy to work with. We are lucky to have allies like DJJ. We're doing important work with great people."
Monica Lewis Patrick, water justice warrior and CEO of We the People of Detroit:
“Detroit Jews for Justice has been an intentional partner in building a collective of resistance and restorative justice for Detroiters on issues like water, housing, police brutality, and many of the anti-democratic policies that are being used against the citizens! Gratitude and Solidarity!”
Ruth Johnson, transit justice educator and advocate:
"I enjoyed reading the article, "Closing the Black - Jewish Divide," in BLAC magazine. Thank you for reminding me and others how Detroit's black and Jewish communities had been closer and more allied. I also thank DJJ for what it's doing to build bridges and close caps. I consider my involvement with DJJ's Schlep for Transit and Motor City Freedom Riders one of the highlights of my Regional Transit millage work."
Lila Cabill, Rosa Parks Institute, founding member People's Water Board:
"Working with the leaders of DJJ has been such an encouragement in the past two years. The organization is filled with compassionate, caring, dedicated members -the formula for waging the love we need to build people power for our collective water justice victory. DJJ joining our work has been a light and a positive force for change."