In 2011, Jewish Community Action developed a series of statements to help guide our work. These statements express our core beliefs and values, as well as our hopes and aspirations. Please join us in our efforts to strengthen and sustain a vibrant Jewish community dedicated to the pursuit of justice alongside other communities.
Jewish Community Action believes…
1. It is our inheritance and our fundamental responsibility to repair the broken world.
In taking on this work, we enter into a covenant with one another. In joining together as “bnai brit--covenantal partners,” we affirm our shared bonds of mutual support and social responsibility. This covenant requires both a sense of urgency and a commitment to longevity.
2. Our memory must be long.
Our knowledge and shared history is carried collectively within each of us. We must balance our experience of oppression with our current privilege to make positive change. In telling our own stories, we must open ourselves to receiving the stories of others.
3. Our destiny is bound together with all people.
We must act in the interest of our shared fate. In recognizing a single common humanity, we affirm our conviction that each human being is a full and unique “tzelem Elohim--reflection of God’s presence in the world.” Central to carrying out this belief is the pursuit of racial, social, and economic justice for all people. In protecting the rights of all humans, we include a commitment to our shared environment.
4. This work must be intergenerational.
Each generation has a role in telling the story of our past and creating our shared future. In seeing ourselves as part of the Jewish people’s “otanu ga’al immahem--ongoing story of liberation,” we also identify with the continuing work of freedom and justice for all people.
5. We must work collectively.
We embrace that in our current environment, this is itself a radical act. In all our work we are guided by Hillel’s counsel: If we do not care for ourselves, who will care for us? But, if we only care for ourselves, what have we become? And if not now, when? We must work together to build, create, and sustain a powerful community for making positive change. Solidarity with other communities is absolutely necessary to this goal. Working together is not merely a means to an end; it is a requirement for achieving real justice.
6. Social change requires us to be powerful.
We must have the ability to influence and affect the decisions that impact our lives and our communities—this requires us to be powerful together and in alliance with each other.
7. Real social change is a transformative experience.
We need to move out of a comfortable space and push ourselves to new experiences and a greater awareness of our world and our own potential for change.
We can strengthen our communities and transform ourselves and our world by continuing to stretch past what we thought we were capable of.
8. We must do this work with fundamental hope, optimism and gratitude.
“Tsidkatkha yiranenu--We are cheered by justice achieved,” and sustained by the knowledge that the world forever turns toward the morning.
-Created by Jewish Community Action with help from Earl Schwartz and Rabbi Amy Eilberg.