TZEDEK LAB
NETWORK GATHERING

Our next Network Gathering is taking place at the Allied Media Conference June 25-26 in Detroit 

DATES:

Network Gathering June 25-26

Allied Media Conference June 27-28

Apply Now! Applications Due April 1st

Join us! Returning members and New folks: bit.ly/TzedekLabApp 

We are thrilled to invite you to the 2nd national Tzedek Lab Network Gathering, this year hosted at the Allied Media Conference! Come convene with Jews and allies, new and existing network members, as a national network alongside other grassroots movements, organizations, and networks working for liberation from across the U.S.

Tzedek Lab brings together organizers, political educators, spiritual leaders, and cultural workers into a living laboratory. As Jews and allies to Jews in this political time, we understand that the system of white supremacy and the white nationalist movement is coming after all of us and our peoples, some more directly than others, but with a strategy that uses each of us as a wedge, weapon, and distraction from the solidarity we need.

Our Gathering will focus on some key questions: How have we been successful in confronting these oppressions? What has been our experience as the fight has escalated for some of us? How are we supporting each other, backing one another, and building the momentum we need for our collective liberation to be realized?

Our regular network activities consist of community of practice calls for political educators, organizers, spiritual leaders, and cultural workers; active online sharing of resources, opportunities, and strategic interventions; and racial and ethnicity-based caucus calls.

Over 2018-2019 we held four in-person gatherings alongside some local city gatherings, convening over 150 practitioners from across the country. At AMC, we have the powerful opportunity to strengthen our communities of practice and caucus spaces by deepening our relationships in-person and connecting with the other conveners at the conference. As a community of practitioners, we will debrief action and mobilization moments, cross-pollinate and learn from each other’s experiments, explore new connections and partnerships, and strategize together. We will dig into analysis together, sharing insight about intersections and impacts of white supremacy, white nationalism, antisemitism, racism, and Islamophobia in the US and Israel/Palestine. We will grapple with how to bring our broader Jewish community along in understanding and embracing Jews of all racial and ethnic backgrounds as part of our communities. We will wrestle with barriers to building trust with one another and our allies, and invest in each other as a family in this work.


For a closer look at our VALUES, look here: http://bit.ly/TzedekLabValues.

For a closer look at our developing POLITICAL ANALYSIS, take a look here: http://bit.ly/TzedekLabPolAnalysis.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD APPLY?

Anyone who resonates with the purpose, is moved by this concept, and who is actively doing this work is invited to apply. We will be looking for individuals who will uniquely contribute to the community of practice and who will benefit from it in unique ways.

HOW ARE ORGANIZATIONS BEING THOUGHT ABOUT? HOW STRATEGIC SHOULD WE BE ABOUT WHO APPLIES FROM OUR ORGANIZATION? AM I EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN TZEDEK LAB AS A STAFF MEMBER OF AN ORGANIZATION OR AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF AN ORGANIZATION?

We are encouraging staff members of organizations who are active in political education and community organizing against racism, antisemitism, and white supremacy to apply to join the network. While we expect you to represent the work you do in relationship to the vision of your organization, we do not ask that anyone formally represent the organization at which they work. We consider your role in your organization to be a major asset to your work, in that you have access to a network of leaders and members, and a location at which you are moving the work forward. We are bringing together individuals who have access to a wide spectrum of networks so that we can learn from each other and experiment together. We are creating a network that will benefit both from tight clusters of individuals who experiment and work closely together and from people coming from very different experiences and locations.

WHAT IF I DON’T OFFICIALLY WORK IN THE JEWISH SOCIAL JUSTICE FIELD?

You are welcome to apply just as you - the Jewish political education trainer, organizer, or spiritual leader that you are - and be a part of the network without any official organizational affiliation. We know that extraordinary political education and organizing happens outside formal organizations, and we want you to bring your wisdom and connections into the network.

WHAT ARE THE FINANCIAL COSTS OF JOINING TZEDEK LAB?

Participation in the network is free. Attending the national and regional convenings is also free. We will be able to offer travel stipends to some participants for the national convening at the Highlander Center in Tennessee.

WHAT IS THE ALLIED MEDIA CONFERENCE?

“The Allied Media Conference is a collaboratively designed event that explores the intersections of media and communications, art, technology, education, and social justice. The glue that holds these incredibly diverse content areas together is “media for liberation,” or any collaborative process that uses media, art or technology to address the roots of problems and advance holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world. Another central theme is “visionary organizing,” where folks are not only resisting current systems but modeling new liberatory ways of being.”  Doesn’t this sound like a fertile and conducive space for Tzedek Lab?! Learn more about AMC here: https://amc.alliedmedia.org/about-amc/

WHAT DOES HAVING A TZEDEK LAB GATHERING AT THE ALLIED MEDIA CONFERENCE MEAN FOR ME AND TZEDEK LAB?

We applied and were accepted to hold a Network Gathering alongside 20+ other visionary and awesome movement building groups that will be at the conference just like us. We will gather as Tzedek Lab for 2 days of cross-pollination and building together on Thursday and Friday June 25-26 and then join the larger Allied Media Conference for Saturday and Sunday June 27-28. Our Network Gathering at AMC will be our 2020 National Convening for Tzedek Lab. All current members are invited and new folks are invited to apply and join us at the gathering and join Tzedek Lab.

WHO IS PLANNING THIS GATHERING AND CAN I JOIN THE TEAM OR CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY?

Thanks to Valeriya Epshteyn (Tzedek Lab member in Detroit) for tipping us off about the open proposals for network gatherings a while back, and to network members Enzi Tanner, Reuben Telushkin, and Rachel Plattus for being our team so far and working with me (Helen) and Shirly to submit our proposal. We are getting started on building out the vision, program, and logistics of this gathering, including rooting with our Tzedek Lab fam in Detroit, shout out Kendra Watkins, Hannah Forman, and Rabbi Alana Alpert. Do you have an idea about something for this time together? Email Helen helenmiriambennett@gmail.com

IS THIS FOR ME? HOW DO I MAKE PLANS TO BE AT THIS?

If you are a leader and practitioner, working to politicize, transform, and mobilize Jewish communities to take more accountable action addressing antisemitism, racism, white supremacy, and white nationalism, this is for you. This Network Gathering at AMC will be THE in-person gathering space for Tzedek Lab scheming, dreaming, and building more deeply together this year. (Potential additional regional, project, or identity based convenings may come along later, but this is the main full network convening to be at.)  Jewish communities Everyone who comes to our Network Gathering at AMC is strongly encouraged to register and stay on for the rest of the Allied Media Conference where we’ll get to connect with brilliant other movement builders and leaders, root in Detroit, and learn and share together in bigger movement.

WHAT IS THE HOUSING SITUATION?

We are planning to get a chunk of housing together on the Wayne State College campus where the conference is taking place and encourage everyone from out of town to stay together. More on these logistics soon!

HOW ELSE CAN I GET CONNECTED TO TZEDEK LAB? WHAT'S THE REST OF THE TIMELINE?

Space at the gathering is limited. We are excited to bring together a mix of returning members along with a solid crew of new members. At this time, joining Tzedek Lab and becoming a member of the network happens through participation in an in-person convening like this one. Currently, this Network Gathering at AMC is the convening we are working towards so if you've be waiting to join or to invite people to join, now is the time.
TIMELINE:
Applications Due: April 1
Notifications of Invitation: April 24
Confirmation Date: May 1
Housing and Travel Booked: May 22
Network Gathering: June 25-28

CONDITIONS AND BENEFITS

CONDITIONS of joining the Tzedek Lab network: 
- Resource sharing: Political education resources are shared throughout the group, all resources are always cited to acknowledge individual or organizational authorship. 
- High impact/low ego: Commitment to the larger project of politicizing/transforming/inspiring the Jewish community towards collective action against white supremacy. 
- Commitment to learning: Staying connected with hevruta/learning community through the network, reading and interacting with questions and virtual group discussion, attending convenings. 
- Commitment to praxis: Joining is a commitment to diving into an organizing lab. This means experimenting, putting into action and deepening the quality of the best practices that emerge from our shared learning.
- Practitioners are currently in positions training or organizing within the Jewish community (paid or unpaid). 

BENEFITS to attending convening/joining network: 
- Opportunity to be part of strengthening the wider Jewish movement building against racism, antisemitism, institutional white supremacy and white supremacist movements/white nationalism
- Grounding in larger strategy conversation about politicizing and transforming the Jewish community 
- Free and accessible leadership/skill/professional development
- Ongoing network of support from leaders in the field 
- Comradeship, challenge, accountability, inspiration 

 

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