The first National Summit was held at HUC-JIR in New York on April 29-30, 2012. The field of Jewish community organizing is growing rapidly. However, as practitioners in this field, we had never before formally come together– across denominations, across roles, across the country– to share wisdom, build connections, find partners, and plan for the future.
JOIN for Justice’s National Summit brought Jewish organizers together to articulate and celebrate their shared vision for the Jewish community and its role in advancing justice in the world.
Through networking, training, and other learning opportunities, participants built relationships and gained resources that have strengthened our ability to achieve our individual and collective goals.
At the Summit we worked to build the Jewish community’s capacity for organizing in three ways:
- We provided introductory as well as high-level trainings, led by experts in the field, on the theory and practice of organizing and its relevance and relationship to the Jewish community.
- We created relational and peer-to-peer learning opportunities that build networks of organizers who are professionally, geographically, and/or personally compatible.
- We leveraged the power and passion of the community to strategize about advancing the vision and mission of JOIN for Justice.
See the list of workshops offered at the National Summit. Sponsoring Partners for the summit included CJP and Bend the Arc. Sponsoring Organizations included American Jewish World Service, AVODAH, hazon, Hillel, Jews United for Justice, JFREJ, Keshet, Kolot Chayeinu, Moishe House, National Council of Jewish Women, The Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Sharsheret and the Union for Reform Judaism. Individual sponsors included Lauren and Bill Gabovitch and Rabbi Greg Litcofsky.
Tekiah Social Justice Award at the National Summit
JOIN for Justice presented the first Tekiah Social Justice Award to Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner at the Closing Assembly of the National Summit at Hebrew Union College in New York City. We gathered again in the Boston area on Monday evening, June 4, to celebrate with those who could not join us in New York.
Tekiah, one of the sounds of the shofar, calls people to attention as a community. The Tekiah Social Justice Award recognizes a leader who has successfully rallied the community together to take action and foster social change. Throughout his professional life, Rabbi Jonah Pesner has consistently demonstrated these attributes.
These events support the work of the two organizations close to Rabbi Pesner: JOIN for Justice and the Union of Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations. Through JOIN for Justice’s Seminary Leadership Project and Just Congregations’ Seminary Student Program, these two programs have provided training and mentoring to hundreds of seminary students who are seeding a field of congregational and community rabbis engaged in creating a Jewish community grounded in social and economic justice.
Click here to see more pictures from the evening.