Spring 2018 Update

Dear friends,

If 40 DJJ leaders gather in a forest, does it make a sound? We’re going to find out in June at our Leadership Shabbaton. Knowing our group, my guess is yes, it might get a little bit noisy - with laughter, passionate conversation, and song.

A Shabbaton is just what it sounds like: an extended Shabbat. It’s an opportunity to re-center, reflect and re-energize. For June 1-3, core leaders will gather at Camp Tavor in Three Rivers, MI for an intensive weekend of relationship-building and training. We aim to leave with new knowledge and tools to support our work for racial and economic justice. The spirited vision of the Shabbaton planning team has made my heart so full these past months — and I can’t wait to share this experience with a community I so dearly love.  

Meanwhile, we are gearing up for the Poor People’s Campaign. As a young organizer, the original Poor People’s Campaign was long before my time (but it’s astounding to hear the stories of community members who were there.) Fifty years later, with social justice leaders across the country coming together for the campaign, I feel like I’m seeing movement history in the making. Experience it yourself: learn more below and register to join us for a day - or six! - of nonviolent action in Lansing.

Finally, we’re excited to share that we moved into an office in Breakers Covenant Church International! We’re thrilled to be setting up shop in this historic space. Once the site of Temple Beth El, it’s now the home of an incredible spiritual community and a host of grassroots organizations. It’s only two miles from Rabbi Alana’s house - and yet this is a big move for us. We can already see how making a home at Breakers will grow our relationships and better root us in Detroit community. We hope you’ll visit us soon!

In Solidarity,


P.S. Last weekend a crew of our leaders had a transformative experience at “White People Confronting Racism” — a workshop led by the phenomenal team at Training for Change in Philadelphia. Read Barry Rubin’s thoughtful reflections about it here.

Pictured above: Eleanor getting comfortable at the new office!

Upcoming Actions

Join DJJ for the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC)

A National Call for Moral Revival

The PPC is a national movement challenging the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.

Starting THIS MONDAY May 14, we’ll follow local leaders to the State Capitol for six consecutive weeks of nonviolent action.

Click here for more details about schedule and to RSVP to join the DJJ contingent & stand in solidarity with communities mobilizing statewide!

Learn more about the national campaign at poorpeoplescampaign.org

Action Alert for Oakland County Transit Supporters

The schlep for transit continues— DJJ is supporting Motor City Freedom Riders, MOSES, and Transit Riders United to build a broad base of support for transit in Oakland County that can force the county government to relent and allow the measure to move forward.

The Motor City Freedom Riders, MOSES, and Transportation Riders United will be hosting a Regional Transit Authority advocacy training this Thursday, May 10, from 6 to 8PM at the Jewish Federation in Bloomfield Hills (6735 Telegraph Road #30). If you live in Oakland County, they need you more than ever. Interested in getting involved beyond Thursday? Reach out to [email protected] and [email protected] 

On the blog blog_image.png

Barry on Training for Change's 'White People Confronting Racism' Workshop

Lee on "Water & Racial Politics" talk

Chris on the Jews of Color Dinner with Aurora Levins Morales

Join DJJ in the Poor People’s Campaign!

Rondi on "I Do Mind Dying"

Kate On Aurora Levins Morales' poetry reading

Next year, may water be a human right

Barry reflects on World Water Day 2018

Check out our Purim spiel video!

Alison Chan's Purim reflections

Winter update: Adar is for organizing

What we’re reading:

On #FreeSiwatu

Video: “How America Views Black Fear

From The Detroit News: “Free Siwatu-Salama Ra

From Democracy Now!: “On This Earth Day, Demand Freedom for Siwatu-Salama Ra

On Water:

From Detroit Free Press: “Michigan approves Nestlé permit for increased water withdrawal for bottled water plant 

From streetrootsnews: “Detroit’s ‘the canary in the mine’ for Portland, says water equality activist

From Washington Post: “Flint water flagged as poor weeks before free bottles ended

Y’shkoyach* to Our Comrades…

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in NYC (JFREJ) on their stunning #Omer4BlackLives project, diving deep into the Movement for Black Lives platform each of the 49 days of the Omer.

This year’s cohort of the University of Michigan School of Social Work’s Jewish Communal Leadership Program’s graduates, including DJJ leaders Jake Ehrlich, Essie Shachar-Hill, Leah Josephson, and [former DJJ intern!] Eli Zucker!

Miriam Saperstein for their incredible work bringing the DJJ logo to banner life (pictured at right)! & Susannah Goodman and Mikell Hyman for collaborating on the design. 

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

In the Detroit Jewish News

A feature about Hazon helping Jewish groups compost, featuring our new office

DJJ Community Organizer Eleanor in article highlighting politically active women

Rabbi Alana's Torah commentary: "Disobedience and Faith"

Upcoming Community Events

Energy, Tech, & Sustainability Fair

11AM - 8PM, May 12, Highland Park

Parker Village, Soulardarity, Modern Tribe Communications & the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association are partnering to bring together energy professionals, activists, community leaders, vendors, & sponsors for a one day event to network on renewable energy, sustainable practices, rules, laws, incentives, and to build a tech community. RSVP at this link!

Youth Environmental Justice Forum

1 - 3PM, May 19th, Detroit

We the People of Detroit, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the East Michigan Environmental Action Council are partnering to bring folks together over food to hear from a few of Detroit's young leaders on the issues of air quality and water accessibility and have some collaborative discussions. The space will prioritize youth voices, though all are welcome! RSVP at this link!

Tours of Detroit with Black Scroll Network History (BSNH)

Last summer we had the amazing opportunity to tour the city with Jamon Jordan of BSNH to learn about the 1967 Rebellion. Register online and see a complete list of upcoming weekend tours with Jamon here, on topics like Detroit's African American music history, Malcolm X, & the Black church.

The 2nd National Jews of Color Convening: Building a JoC Leadership Corps

June 17-20, Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Copake, NY

Jews of Color and their families are invited to gather for an intergenerational convening of JoC Rabbis, cantors, chaplains, seminarians and Jewish nonprofit professionals. Learn more and register at this link. Contact 2ndNat'[email protected] with questions. The convening will have three tracks:

  • Business development (profit or nonprofit)
  • Jewish nonprofit career positioning
  • Jewish rituals and liturgy re-visioning

3rd Annual 2018 Michigan Jewish Food Festival

11AM - 4PM, Sunday, August 26th, Eastern Market, Detroit

Mark your calendars! This event is free & open to the public (with a nominal cost for lunch and other merchandise from participating vendors). Come explore Detroit’s food movement, celebrate Jewish cultural history, learn about sustainability, family health, and food security through interactive, intergenerational DIY activities, demonstrations, panels, and more.

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