Since our inception, DJJ has worked to be a committed partner to the Black Lives Matter movement. Our very first action as an organization was a Hanukkah vigil after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.
(December 2014 DJJ’s first action at Campus Martius)
Due to long-term organizing locally and nationally and the consecutive killings of Breonna Taylor (Kentucky), Ahmaud Arbery (Georgia) and George Floyd (Minnesota) we find ourselves in another such movement moment -- a moment ripe with possibility and rife with challenging questions.
As our sister organization in the Twin Cities, Jewish Community Action, recently wrote:
“What does it look like to "show up" in this moment? How do we respond to such violence? And how do we do it in the midst of a pandemic that’s disproportionately infecting and killing people of color? A virus that itself embodies the same racism and systemic injustice that killed George Floyd?”
We can start by following the lead of The Movement For Black Lives in fighting alongside those turning up in the streets and online.
We’ll do our best to offer our network opportunities and resources for meaningful and strategic action, education and solidarity.
Gathering Our People
This Saturday evening at 8pm, join the DJJ community for ritual, processing, learning and a call to action.
- Volunteer for Protest Support - (Jail Support, Legal Observing, and Remote Opportunities)
- Offer legal representation for protestors.
- Donate to sustain local work for racial justice: Detroit Justice Center, Michigan Liberation, Black Youth Project 100 Detroit
- Display a BLM sign on your lawn and distribute to friends & neighbors. You can purchase one here or here.
- Encourage your congregation to display a large “Black Lives Matter” banner on their property. We understand this can be a difficult conversation - if they are willing to consider it, DJJ is available to provide learning resources and practical support.
**DJJ is committed to supporting community members who are choosing to march. Be in touch with Allie if you are seeking legal, safety or spiritual resources. Please be safe. We encourage you to practice social distancing guidelines and wear a mask. It can be powerful to show multiracial solidarity, and it is essential to not spread sickness to communities that are already grieving.**
Follow this link for learning resources. We will highlight a few here:
- “Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge.”
- Believe us’: Black Jews Respond to the George Floyd protests, in their own words”
- Ibram X. Kendi’s anti racist reading list
- JFREJ’s Shavuot for Black Lives study guide
Strategizing for the Long Haul
In the past year, we have spent countless hours developing a new campaign structure that will allow us to organize with more agility and effectiveness. On Tuesday, July 21st we will launch a new team dedicated to mobilizing the Jewish community for racial justice. Save the date and stay tuned for more details.
DJJ is doubling-down on our commitment to the work of racial justice. We are proud to announce an ambitious new program, working closely with synagogues to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. We are honored by an (almost official!) generous commitment from the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative for this work. The grant will also support us to amplify the voices of Jews of Color, who have been telling us unequivocally that we in the Jewish community must show up for Black Jews and for all Black people targeted by state violence. We will announce our new hire soon, and in the meantime you can email Allie to express interest in learning more and invest in our capacity to do this work.
Please join us in raising our collective Jewish voice in support of Black lives.
(R. Alana speaking in Ferguson, MO 2014)
Rabbi Alana Alpert