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Education, leadership development, and advocacy from a progressive Jewish platform

The Jewish Center for Justice is a distinguished social justice, education, and leadership development platform that empowers current and future leaders to build a more compassionate and just society.

A diverse movement and community spanning generations and denominations, JCJ connects Jewish justice activists with unique opportunities to formulate their voices and make a real impact on issues such as immigration, gun violence prevention, economic justice, climate change, and more.

“Engaging with JCJ on campus has enriched my college experience by providing the tools and confidence I needed to raise my voice for justice, as well as a better understanding of how my activism is intrinsically linked to my Judaism.”
— Kevin Gibson, UC Berkeley 

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Recent Blog Posts

A Vidui (Confession) for Racism

A Vidui (Confession) for Racism

Each year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we beat our chests and engage in a communal confession. Looking back on a year, it can be difficult to pinpoint specific mistakes or failures. The beauty of a communal confession is that we take on all these failures together. We confess to an alphabet of sins, covering all our wrongs from A to Z. We take responsibility for ourselves and everyone around us. We accept that no matter how hard we try, we are not perfect, and in our admitting, we are committing to try to be better.

As we enter the month of Elul, we begin a traditional period of reflection in preparation for the High Holidays. This year has brought to light an alphabet of sins we have avoided admitting. Our failure to acknowledge these wrongs has cost lives. It has caused exclusion and alienation within our own communities. It has gone on too long. Now we will take responsibility. Now we will feel this pain we’ve been ignoring, this pain we’ve been causing. We will take it on as a community of individuals, working to be better.

A Vidui for Racism

We have abstained from uncomfortable growth.
We have belittled the pain of our fellow humans.
We have complied with social pressures.
We have desensitized ourselves to the suffering of others.
We have engaged in performative activism.
We have forgotten how to dream.
We have grown accustomed to our power.
We have heard the cries and chosen to stay silent.
We have ignored our personal responsibility.
We have joined the path of least resistance.
We have killed innocent people through our silence.
We have laughed to avoid confronting problematic behavior.
We have made excuses instead of listening.
We have not used the power of our voices.
We have oppressed others for our own gain.
We have perpetuated racist systems in our society.
We have questioned the severity of the situation.
We have robbed children of their innocence.
We have stood idly by in the face of wrongs.
We have taught a false narrative.
We have undermined movements for change.
We have valued property over life.
We have walked away from a chance to help.
We have been xenophobic.
We have yelled to mask our fear.
We have zealously guarded the status quo.

For all these sins, may we earn forgiveness, through our actions, through our learning, through our change of heart.

Samantha Thal is a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles.

As we exit a week in which we said goodbye to RBG and saw a continued assault on our democracy, the JCJ community gathered yesterday evening to breathe in hope and determination for a new year of activism and commitment to justice. (Missed the event? Click the link in our bio to watch). We hope that those who were with us live gained meaning and inspiration from our event, which featured singer / songwriter Rabbi Noam Katz, JCJ Board Chair @bankjulie, JCJ Board Member and LAUSD VP @nickmelvoin & CA Assemblymember @rebeccaforassembly – who gave a moving tribute to RBG. As we near the 2020 election, it will be even more important that we do everything we can to ensure the right to vote for everyone. Please check out our resources (link in bio) on all things voting, and please remember to vote. #Vote2020 #GOTV #Election2020 #democracy #savedemocracy #RBG #RBGRIP #RBGLegacy #RoshHashanah #Vote #ShanahTovah #ShabbatShalom #Jewish #Judaism #shofar ...

Shanah tovah! Wishing everyone a sweet New Year. 🍎🍯 #ShanahTovah #RoshHashanah2020 #RoshHashanah #Jewish #judaism #newyear #sweetnewyear #applesandhoney ...

@hucjir rabbinic education students Sarah Moody and Elias Chajet want to let all the young advocates out there know how you can join JCJ's high school and college legislative fellowship in the upcoming year. Go to our website and click 'COHORTS' to learn more and join. #socialjustice #socialaction #leadership #jewish #justice #fellowship #jewishprograms #jewishprogramming ...

The Jewish Center for Justice supports Proposition 21 in California, which if passed would: ▶︎ Allow local governments to make their own decisions regarding rent control instead of forcing top-down state regulations on communities. ▶︎ Lower the number of evictions statewide, keeping our neighbors off the streets and in their homes. Vote 'Yes' on Prop 21 when you cast your ballot in the upcoming election. #prop21 #yesonprop21 #yeson21 #vote2020 #gotv #votebymail #california #Californiavoter #justice #socialjustice #rentcontrol #housing #affordablehousing #economicjustice ...

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