Why us? Why this? Why now?
Our team did an in-depth survey of 30 leading Jewish educators and organizers in the field with the original plan of building curriculum that could be used by Jewish communities to educate their constituencies. From these surveys, we determined that curriculum without strong facilitation by people embodied in the work will not provide the results we want: namely, creating a more effectively politicized Jewish community that can move towards collective accountable action.
What we did hear was the need from many in the field for peer support, mentorship, skill and professional development, resources, workshop modules, and a trusted network to support them in the work they are doing or trying increasingly to do. The project shifted significantly in response to the needs we heard.
Jewish communities in the U.S. are at an important crossroads. As white nationalist and white supremacist movements grow and thrive under the Trump presidency, white Jews in particular are being forced to make a choice between deeper investment into whiteness (doubling down on institutional power over people of color) or divestment from whiteness through solidarity with other targeted communities. Bringing trainers and organizers together at this moment will hopefully enable those people on the front lines of this work to do that work ever more effectively, strengthened by a network of relationships of support.
Dove Kent, Koach Baruch Frazier, and Helen Bennett hold particular expertise in political education, community building, and organizing networks, as well as deep relationships across the field, making us the right team to create this platform and organize this network.