Spring Update

Dear community,17505339_718936284954951_4200976375408232235_o_(1).jpg

Many of us wondered whether post-election fervor would die down by this time in the year. In these past months, the weather was gloomy and so was much of the news. Yet we’ve seen our community staying active in response to bleak policies - on the phone lines of legislators, in progressive organizations and in the streets. In particular, I am immensely proud of what DJJ has accomplished.

Since our last update, we hosted an incredible Purim celebration focused on education justice and a Passover event centered on immigrant and refugee rights, where we raised over $2,000 for Syrian American Rescue Network. We showed up in droves to World Water Day in Lansing and provided transportation and childcare to support others to get there. We turned out for Detroit People’s Climate MarchMay Day, the Rally for Real Regional Transit, and more.

At our second orientation we brought in 20 new folks, growing our active leadership base to over 100. And as the weather heats up, I know our organizing will, too. With the on-boarding of our wonderful Program Associate Valeriya, we are so excited to see what’s in store for us next. We are deeply grateful to all of you who contributed to make the growth of our staff possible.

Taking action is important on its own. But it can become so much more meaningful when we combine it with critical thinking, shared learning, and honest dialogue about the context of our racial and economic justice work. One year ago, I started my dream job as DJJ community organizer. I wrote in a journal entry: “As I’ve begun to unearth my Jewish cultural history, I’m realizing just how much it means to me and how I place myself in the world, this country and in Detroit.” I had lofty aspirations for the ways DJJ could help me and many more metro Detroit Jews interrogate our collective past - and what it means for our relationship to the city today. Our series exploring the 50th anniversary of the ‘67 civil uprising is exactly the kind of project I hoped we’d dig into. Please join us at an upcoming event - and stay tuned for more info.

In solidarity,


‘67 Rebellion Series 
in partnership with Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Defending Freedom Roving Symposium
Sunday, June 11, 10am - 3pm
Departs from Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Supported, in part, by the Ravitz Foundation.

Beyond Shame & Blame: Learning & Connecting our ‘67 Stories
A 2-part event in partnership with Repair the World
“Internal Combustion” Film Screening  - Wednesday, June 21, 6:30 - 9:30pm
‘67 Rebellion Community Dialogue - Wednesday, June 28, 6:30 - 9:30pm

‘67 Rebellion Bus Tour
Sunday, July 2nd, 11am - 2pm
Departs from Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History


Let’s ROARjoin.png
Register today for the Jewish Leadership Training for Resistance, Organizing, Action, and Resilience (ROAR) and share with your network! This is a one-of-a-kind starter course in Jewish justice organizing that we’re co-sponsoring with National Council of Jewish Women. Click here for more information and here to buy your ticket today.



We've grown!
We’re overjoyed to introduce our Program Associate, Valeriya Epshteyn! Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and raised in Oak Park and Walled Lake, Michigan, Valeriya comes to us from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor with a concentration in Environmental Justice and Activism. Introduced to community organizing through student-driven fossil fuel divestment, Valeriya has been plugging into the Detroit movement scene as a Semester in Detroit alum and a supporter of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council. Valeriya is passionate about spirituality and healing infused organizing, creative writing, and farming. Valeriya is also a part of the RYSE National Youth Council and would love to talk all day with you about cooperative housing, youth-led movement building, and popular education. Read more here!

Purim 2017
Check out highlights of our 2017 Purim celebration in this video from talented local filmmaker Natasha Tamate Weiss!

Core Principles
After months of collective work, our leaders have finalized a DJJ core principles statement, beautifully narrating the values of how and why we do our work. We invite you to read it here.

On the Blog
"Let My People In" Passover Supplement
The Omer Project
'67 Haggadah Supplement
The "Homrich 9" - Breaking the Silence
World Water Day
Defeating Hamanism
Take Action Against H.R. Bill 610
Take the Pledge: Stand In Solidarity with Immigrant, Arab & Muslim Communities

In the News
Marty on the May 12th Rally for Real Regional Transit - Detroit Jewish News
Dayeinu for the Resistance - The Detroit News
“Let My People In” - Detroit Jewish News
Interfaith March for Justice ~ Marcha Para Justicia - The Detroit News
- Rabbi Alana featured as an Avodah alumni - Detroit Jewish News
Purim 2017 - Detroit Jewish News

What We’re Learning

What’s that smell? On the Detroit incinerator
The Guardian discusses how the incinerator is a hotspot for health problems
Curt Guyette’s Fired Up

On the 1967 Rebellion
Detroit Historical Society’s Collections of Individuals’ Impressions of ‘67
No question about it, ‘67 was a rebellion, not a riot

On Ruach
Hava Nagila’s Long, Strange Trip by Dr. James Loeffler
Songs for Survival by the Kalamazoo College Arcus Center for Social Justice

100 Days of 45
Politico Magazine’s 100 Days in pictures
David Remnick’s thoughts over at the New Yorker

Making It Happen
Like what we're doing? You make it possible! By getting involved, spreading the word, and contributing. Visit our website, become a leader, and support our work with a donation.


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JWF-Color-Logo_VERT.jpgOur work is funded in part by Jewish Women’s Foundation and by donors like you.

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