Community Organizing

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Collection
Migrants from South America 2018

The Land of the Living

by Ruth Zakarin

I want to be in a world where all those around me get to not just exist, but fully live. I want to raise my children in an environment that allows folks to breathe deeply, function without fear, and be who they truly are. But it takes more than just wanting.

Women Voting in 1936

Keeping the Faith in Our Democracy

by Rachael Dubinsky

This election is a referendum on the character of our society. It’s up to all of us to use our voices and our votes to create a more just and compassionate country.

Image from A Yes on 3 Rally

Young People Will Always Be Powerful

by Sky Karp
Every Tuesday in the cramped living room of the Beacon Hill Friends House, I transform into someone who’s not only their equal but their mentor, their advisor, their trainer, and their coach. Every Tuesday, I’m not some powerless queer kid scared at the state of the world, but a powerful Jewish organizer with the ability to engage dozens of people in our movement.
Trans Equality Cover Image

As a Jewish Feminist, I stand for Trans Rights

by Mimi Micner

As a Jewish feminist, I have a particular obligation to fight alongside my transgender siblings as their rights are threatened at the state and national level.

Josie Rosman Trip Photo

Lessons from Rabbi Lauren

by Josephine Rosman

All my life, I’ve been learning lessons both about the Torah and about how to live a fulfilling life from Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann at Kol Tzedek (my synagogue) in Philadelphia. From services and Torah school, to the time we spent together prepping for my bat mitzvah, Rabbi Lauren was the person who taught me how to look at Jewish texts in a new light, and turn them into something inspiring and relevant. She taught me about the concept of social justice, and how as Jews, we have a moral responsibility to make the world a better place. 

Rising Voices Fellows attending a retreat seminar (Winter 2018)

Combating Bullying and Exclusion

by Larisa Klebe

When the status quo simply isn’t acceptable, our Rising Voices Fellows step in. In addition to being activists, they are just some of the mensch-iest people you’ll ever meet, and they don’t take things like bullying or exclusion lightly. From working to make youth group more open and inclusive, to refusing to take part in school bullying, these young women teach us the importance of sticking to good values, no matter the risk or cost.

Pathways to Freedom Kiosk

Passover, Freedom, and Public Art: An Interview with Julia Vogl

by  Judith Rosenbaum

Artist Julia Vogl travels the world, transforming public spaces into works of art that reflect the shared experiences of the local community while embuing those spaces with strikingly vibrant color and patterns.

Bernice Kazis

Bernice Kazis is a former teacher and social worker who dedicated much of her career to resettling Soviet Jews in the greater Boston area.

Anna Charny

Anna Charny and her family were a prominent part of the refusenik community in Moscow, working with various Jewish organizations that advocated for and provided economic support to refuseniks.

Judy Patkin

Judy Patkin is the founder of Action for Post-Soviet Jewry (formerly known as Action for Soviet Jewry), a group that supports refuseniks socially and economically.

Andrea Waldstein

Andrea Waldstein is a Boston-based social worker and activist who worked internationally to support Soviet Jews, particularly women.

Rising Voices Fellows in their feminist t-shirts

Strengthening School Communities

by Larisa Klebe

Our Rising Voices Fellows are active members of their high schools who work to strengthen and positively contribute to these communities. From combating negativity and unkind behavior with positive messages, to making school a more environmentally conscious place, these young women are taking the lead in shaping and bettering their school communities.

Rising Voices and Havdallah Candle (Winter 2018)

Standing Up For Our Lives

by Larisa Klebe

In the wake of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, many of our Rising Voices Fellows sprung into action. From writing their own reflections and calling for change, to organizing their communities to act, these young women are taking part in a teen-led movement that’s sweeping the nation.

Image of crowd from 2017 Women's March

Humility as an Intersectional Practice

by  Judith Rosenbaum

The messiness of the world and the limits of intersectionality as a theory have re-asserted themselves once again in the events surrounding Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory’s embrace of Louis Farrakhan and refusal to publicly condemn his anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ diatribes. I’d like to make a case for an intersectionality rooted in humility. What if, instead of using theory to express what we know, we used it to create space for what we don’t know?

Rising Voices and Havdallah Candle (Winter 2018)

Rising Voices Fellows Respond to Parkland

by Emma Mair

In response to the Parkland school shooting on February 14, 2018, JWA’s Rising Voices Fellows decided to put their minds together and do what they do best: write. These are the stories of teenage girls from all over the United States, who have grown up after Columbine, after 9/11, and in the age of gun violence and terrorism.

Sarah Deer Headshot

Between Andrew Jackson and Hitler: An Interview with Sarah Deer

by Emily Cataneo

Sarah Deer is a Jewish Native American lawyer and professor who has worked to end violence against women for more than two decades. Her activism has led to legal updates that enable tribes to more easily prosecute sexual assault on their land. She’s also the author of four textbooks about tribal law, and in 2014, received a MacArthur Fellowship for her work.

April Baskin

April Baskin has been committed to opening doors and embracing diversity in the Jewish community throughout her career.
Composite Image of Women's Marches (1913 and 2017)

Marching with Sadie

by Bella Book

Sadie Loewith would have marched this weekend, joining a million other women around the world as they took to the streets to demand a more equal society. I know this because Sadie did march in 1920, joining the multitudes of other women in the streets of Washington D.C. who were fighting for the ratification of the 19th amendment.

Carolina Jews for Justice at HKonJ, February 12, 2017

Organizing Jewishly in North Carolina

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

When I started college, I didn’t expect to get involved with Jewish organizing. I was Jewish because other people saw me as such—despite my mixed-religious parentage and upbringing, I was always the odd kid out. Never quite Jewish enough to become a bat mitzvah, but enough to be the subject of slurs, wielded by children who had never met Jewish people before.

 

Unrest and Rivka Composite Image

A Woman Who Dared, with ME

by Rivka Solomon

It was late afternoon, and I could barely get my body out of bed. It wasn't that I lacked the desire to get up or that my limbs couldn't function. I just didn't have the cellular energy to power up my muscles. I couldn't do anything except lie flat. Even that was exhausting. This state of sheer debilitation was not new to me. And it hadn't been going on for days or weeks. It had been a decade.

Rita Schwerner

When her husband was murdered during Freedom Summer in 1964 in Mississippi, Rita Levant Schwerner Bender used the ensuing media attention to focus the public’s awareness on the importance of civil rights.

Veronika Cohen

Veronika Wolf Cohen has shaped Israeli minds in two very different ways, by developing national music curricula and by leading innovative Israeli-Palestinian dialogue groups.

Shira Stutman

Shira Stutman’s belief in the importance of “radical welcoming” informs everything about the way she cultivates community as senior rabbi of Washington DC’s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

Lynne Landsberg

Lynne Landsberg had focused her rabbinic career on fighting for social justice, but when a car accident left her disabled, that fight became far more personal.

Books Stock Photo

In Charlottesville’s Wake, Avoiding the “Ivory Tower”

by Caroline Kubzansky
Here is how I will respond to the horrors of Charlottesville as a student activist. Discussion is great, activism (in this case) is better.
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