#TestimonyTuesday: Sarah Novick – DC Police Accountability

My name is Logan Bayroff and I’m a Ward 1 resident. I am testifying today because Black lives matter, and because I want to live in a city in which the government acts to genuinely serve all DC residents, instead of empowering the MPD to harass and abuse them.

#TestimonyTuesday: Rebecca Ennen – DC Police Accountability

My name is Logan Bayroff and I’m a Ward 1 resident. I am testifying today because Black lives matter, and because I want to live in a city in which the government acts to genuinely serve all DC residents, instead of empowering the MPD to harass and abuse them.

#TestimonyTuesday: Hannah Weilbacher – DC Police Accountability

My name is Logan Bayroff and I’m a Ward 1 resident. I am testifying today because Black lives matter, and because I want to live in a city in which the government acts to genuinely serve all DC residents, instead of empowering the MPD to harass and abuse them.

#TestimonyTuesday: Logan Bayroff – DC Police Accountability

My name is Logan Bayroff and I’m a Ward 1 resident. I am testifying today because Black lives matter, and because I want to live in a city in which the government acts to genuinely serve all DC residents, instead of empowering the MPD to harass and abuse them.

#TestimonyTuesday: Hannah Garelick- Reclaim Rent Control

My name is Logan Bayroff and I’m a Ward 1 resident. I am testifying today because Black lives matter, and because I want to live in a city in which the government acts to genuinely serve all DC residents, instead of empowering the MPD to harass and abuse them.

Guía de Votación para el Condado Montgomery de 2020

Nuestra guía de votación para el condado Montgomery de 2020

Report: Montgomery County Ballot Questions Town Hall

Montgomery County voters need to weigh in on important ballot questions this fall. Even if you missed our community meetings, here’s what you can do to learn and take action.

Baltimore Voter Guide

JUFJ’s 2020 Baltimore Voter Guide is out! Vote FOR Statewide Question 1, Baltimore County Question A, and Baltimore City Question F!

Action Alert: Demand Police Accountability & Reform

The Maryland General Assembly must pass legislation to end the practice of police policing themselves and shift power into the hands of communities. Write to your legislators and General Assembly leadership to urge them to pass real and meaningful police reform this year.

Action Alert: Guarantee Water Justice in Baltimore!

We must implement the Water Accountability and Equity Act without further delay.

Action Alert: We Need Renters’ Right to Counsel in Baltimore!

We need to pass Right to Counsel legislation in Baltimore City to bring more equity to rent court.

Action Alert: Baltimore County needs Rent Relief Now!

We need to pass bill #95-20 to protect renters in Baltimore County.

Action Alert: Real Police Accountability Means a Real Power Shift

Police accountability bill #96-20 must be strengthened in order to achieve real justice.

Request for Proposal: Racial Equity & Inclusion Consultant

Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) seeks a consultant or consulting team to support the creation and management of a process to examine our practices, policies, culture and impact and to support our ongoing and long-term journey toward becoming an antiracist organization that advances racial equity, both internally and externally. We are looking for proposals from consultants with a history of working with organizations on transformative racial equity efforts.

#TestimonyTuesday: Claire Landers – JPR 15 – Repeal LEOBR

In Maryland, we have a system that permits police to police themselves without any accountability.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jo Shifrin – JPR 15 – Repeal LEOBR

Policing in Maryland is a broken legacy of a racist system, and it is past time for partial reforms. 

#TestimonyTuesday: Carol Stern – JPR 15 – Repeal LEOBR

We must repeal LEOBR to end the racist, corrupt, and inequitable policing that has been taking place in Maryland for far too long.

#TestimonyTuesday: Joanna Silver – JPR 15 – Repeal LEOBR

Real change, real action, real teshuvah, requires full repeal of LEOBR.

#TestimonyTuesday: Emily Blank – JPR 15 – Repeal LEOBR

Leviticus 19 says, “You shall commit no injustice in judgment; you shall not favor a poor person or respect a great man; you shall judge your fellow with righteousness.” This verse from the sacred writings common to several religions suggests that even those in highly regarded professions must be held accountable for their actions.

Action Alert: Stop Detaining Immigrants in Howard County!

We need to pass CB-51 into law to protect immigrants detainees from being held in the Howard County detention center.

Report: Maryland Special Session Action

Jewish tradition teaches that pikuach nefesh, or preserving life, is of utmost importance. During this pandemic, we’ve seen not only the lives of Marylanders threatened, but also their jobs, homes, and livelihoods while our Governor and legislature have not taken appropriate action. That’s why JUFJ and our partners across the state have been calling for a special session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Save the date for the 2020 Heschel Vision Experience!

Each year JUFJ’s Heschel Vision Awards celebrate members of our community who take action with deep moral commitment and who inspire and empower others. It’s a chance for all of us to be reminded of our values and to be together in community. We can’t gather in person this year like we normally would. Instead, we’re taking this as an invitation to get creative, try new things, and recommit to our values in fresh ways.

Report: Whiteness, Jewishness, Policing Workshop

On September 2nd, we, a group of JUFJ leaders and involved community members, held a workshop on whiteness, Jewishness, and policing. The purpose of that workshop was to develop an understanding of the urgency to defund the police.

Montgomery County Voter Guide

JUFJ’s 2020 Montgomery County Voter Guide is out! Vote FOR Questions 1, A, and C. Vote AGAINST Questions B and D.

Baltimore County Police Accountability: Where Are We?

Police accountability in Baltimore County is critical. Where are we in our work to make that a reality?

Montgomery County Council Session Wrap Up – Summer 2020

JUFJ members raised our voices loudly and repeatedly during the Montgomery County Council’s 2020 summer session, and in many cases the Council listened to us and to our partners. In this physically distant session, we advocated for changes to policing, racial equity, eviction prevention, stronger democracy, and fairer taxation.

JOB POSTING: Community Organizer (DC)

We’re hiring! Come work on our DC team as a Community Organizer.

Reflection on Elul: Purification and Changemaking

In the Talmud Sanhedrin, the rabbis have a discussion about who deserves to be on the Sanhedrin – the high court. Essentially they’re asking, who do we consider to be the greatest of rabbis, of leaders, of judges, of legal scholars? Who is worthy of establishing and reviewing and perfecting our systems of justice? 

Letter to Montgomery County Council: No Police in Schools

The Montgomery County Council voted whether or not to reduce the number of police officers in schools. Learn how they voted and read the letters JUFJ leaders wrote in response.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jeff Rubin – HB821 – Montgomery County Stable Homes Act

This problem exists in Montgomery County: last year 10,451 tenants faced eviction orders in our county.

#TestimonyTuesday: Sam Blau – Maryland Police Accountability Workgroup

Read testimony from JUFJer Sam Blau. 

#TestimonyTuesday: Toby Ditz – SB372 – Expand the Vote

We do this for other eligible voters, including citizens who live in-group settings.

#TestimonyTuesday: Joe Magar – SB372 – Expand the Vote

These citizens of the United States of America and residents of the State of Maryland are being robbed of their voices.

#TestimonyTuesday: Ioana Stoica – SB372 – Expand the Vote

One of the most important guiding principles of my faith is that of pursuing justice.

From mourning to action: Tisha B’Av 2020

This year, in commemoration of Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), JUFJers across Maryland came together to mourn and organize around contemporary tragedies: racist and inequitable policing, ICE’s targeting of immigrant communities, and an affordable housing and eviction crisis exacerbated by COVID-19. More than 50 of us gathered outside Baltimore City Hall, at the Howard County Detention Center, and on Zoom to connect our collective mourning to specific action we can take together to end these human-made tragedies.

Update: Evictions Resume in Maryland

Demonstrators highlighted the plight of tens of thousands of Marylanders who are unable to pay their rent and risk eviction and demanded that Governor Hogan extend the moratorium on evictions and provide additional rent assistance to ALL Maryland renters in need.

Report: #JustRecoveryDC and the budget

As Councilmembers Gray and Silverman said during DC Council meetings, this year’s budget session was an assortment of unmentionable expletives. But we made it through, with some important victories for a moral DC budget.

Police Accountability Testimony: We Can No Longer Accept the Status Quo

JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Read below to learn why JUFJ leader Claire Landers supports this bill.

Police Accountability Testimony: Improved Public Safety

JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Watch why JUFJ leader Barbara Cohen supports this bill.

Police Accountability Testimony: Systemic Solution to a Systemic Problem

JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Read below to hear why JUFJ leader Sheldon Laskin supports this bill.

Police Accountability Testimony: One Death is One Too Many

JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Learn why JUFJ leader Jessica Krasnick supports this bill.

Police Accountability Testimony: Codify the Law

JUFJ leaders submitted public testimony in support of this bill during the County Council work session on Tuesday, 7/28. Learn why JUFJ leader Jody Harburger supports this bill.

Action Alert: DC’s excluded workers are being left out again — support them

Urge DC Council to eliminate the entire Metropolitan Police Department budget increase, and to further cut the budget.

Policing in Baltimore City: Charter Amendment 19-0379

We must end the deadly over-policing of Black and brown people that is a key element of structural racism nationally. Nowhere is this truer than in Baltimore, where racially biased, corrupt, and unconstitutional policing has fed a growing call for accountability, and for decreasing police funding and re-allocating those funds to education, housing, transportation, and other programs that support real community safety.

Action Alert: No police “no-knock” warrants

Jewish tradition teaches us that destroying one life is akin to destroying the entire world. Police violence and systemic racism against Black and brown people have already destroyed too many lives in Montgomery County, but we have a chance to change that right now.

Action Alert: Tell Baltimore to fund rental assistance, not police

We need Mayor Young to use the cut BPD funds towards rental assistance, so that we can aggressively work to avoid a widespread housing crisis.

Action Alert: Maryland needs a special session!

Tell the Maryland General Assembly that they must take action before January.

Tweet DC Council and say NO budget cuts

Urge DC Council to eliminate the entire Metropolitan Police Department budget increase, and to further cut the budget.

Rapid Response: Tell DC Council NO backroom budget cuts

Urge DC Council to eliminate the entire Metropolitan Police Department budget increase, and to further cut the budget.

Action Alert: tell Montgomery County to let us vote for fair taxes

As the extent of our county’s financial hardship in this pandemic becomes clearer, we must be able to raise revenue in a way that is moral and that ensures everyone pays their fair share.

Action Alert: Tell the Baltimore County Council Our Local Police Must Change

Updated 8/24: Tell the Baltimore County Council to hold police accountable.

Racial Equity Commitments

On July 1, 2020, the JUFJ Board of Directors approved the following racial equity commitments that will guide our work in the months ahead:

Action Alert: Tell DC Council To Fund Emergency Needs

Urge DC Council to eliminate the entire Metropolitan Police Department budget increase, and to further cut the budget.

Update: #CancelTheRent and Prevent Evictions

On July 25, Maryland courts will reopen for eviction proceedings. As that day rapidly approaches, the number of Maryland renters unable to make their rent payments increases. JUFJ and our coalition partners are working to highlight the urgency of this situation, and demand that Governor Hogan take action for renter relief:

Action Alert: Tell DC Council on Twitter to cut police funding and invest in true safety

Urge DC Council to eliminate the entire Metropolitan Police Department budget increase, and to further cut the budget.

Action Alert: Start Defunding BPD

To defund Baltimore police, first we need to give Council the authority to change the budget.

Action Alert: Tell the Governor to protect Maryland renters!

In the current international health crisis, more action must be taken to ensure that all Marylanders have all the resources they need to survive. One of the most basic needs, especially with the Governor’s stay-at-home order, is housing. Take action now to demand that Governor Hogan provide critical resources to our most vulnerable communities.

Action Alert: DC Council must ask those with the greatest resources to pay their fair share

Urge DC Council to raise revenue by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.

Action Alert: Ask your state legislators to commit to real police accountability!

We must be able to hold police accountable to the people and communities they hurt. Fill out our action alert to urge your state legislators to commit to passing these five reforms.

Black Lives Matter: Car Rally in Montgomery County

Black Lives Matter in Montgomery County.

Cancel Rent: Keep People in their Homes

Governor Hogan: People must be able to stay in their homes throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Make calls to Baltimore City Council!

This week, we all have a critical opportunity to take action to reduce the Baltimore City Police budget and invest in Black communities. Sign up to make calls to the Mayor, Council President and Council representative!

Action Alert: Decrease BPD funding!

We, as Baltimore residents, must collectively advocate for less funding for police and more funding for departments we really need, such as education, housing & community development, and health.

Lo Tirtzach: Black Lives Matter

This past weekend, we celebrated Shavuot, the holiday when Jews recommit to our covenant and commitment to Torah, symbolized by our acceptance of the ten commandments. The commandment ringing in our ears most loudly as we return from this holiday into yet another whirlwind of police violence against Black Americans is this one: Thou shalt not murder.

Demand justice for renters

JUFJ recently joined a new campaign for rent relief in Maryland. Here are the first steps you can take with us.

Shmita: what is it?

Shmita means “release” and unlike many mitzvoth which are based on individual participation, shmita relies on both personal and communal participation.

Action Alert: Tell Chairman Mendelson to lead a Just Recovery

Ask Chairman Mendelson to continue standing with DC’s families and workers throughout the budget process.

Our Budget as a Moral Document: Montgomery County FY21 Budget

The Montgomery County Council has taken their final vote on the FY21 budget, but there are many critical decisions yet to be made. The work continues!

Campaign Announcement: BRU Right to Counsel

Baltimore City rent court is completely tilted in favor of landlords. We’re working to fix that.

Action Alert: Sign up to write testimony for a #JustRecoveryDC

Tell DC Council: We need a just recovery!

Action Alert: Demand rent relief in Baltimore!

UPDATE: Fill out our action alert to ask Mayor Young for immediate rental relief during the crisis, and thank the Councilmembers who are calling for water justice for all Baltimoreans.

Campaign Announcement: #JustRecoveryDC

We must not just recover from the impacts of COVID-19; we must recover justly. We have a chance now to rebuild our city and our world. Let’s not rebuild the same world with the same cracks. Let us rebuild a better world, a more equitable world, a more just world. DC needs a truly just recovery.

Bonimot Tzedek Action Alert: #FreeThemAllMD

It is crucial – now, more than ever – that everyone stays safe and healthy during this unthinkably scary time.  In Bonimot Tzedek, we are focusing on helping immigrants in ICE detention centers get basic medical needs during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our large-scale demand is to free all immigrants in Maryland detention centers, but at the very least,  we encourage Governor Hogan to take steps to ensure that detainees are safe from Covid-19.

Action Alert: Protect Paid Family and Medical Leave

Big business lobbyists are at it again — in the midst of a global health pandemic, they are demanding DC cancel its forthcoming paid family and medical leave insurance program in order to line their pockets. Take action now to protect DC’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

Join a JUFJ Virtual Watch Party

Democracy is not on hold because of COVID. Join us for virtual watch parties and be part of the movement for a moral Montgomery County budget!

Action Alert: Protect Local Democracy

Take action now to make sure DC residents have a voice in our local government during this crisis.

Action Alert: keep Montgomery County renters safe

During this public health emergency, it is vital that people be able to stay secure in their homes. But many vulnerable Montgomery County residents can barely meet their monthly rent payments and have no financial safety net. Tell the County to support safe and stable housing for all renters.

Action Alert: Demand water justice in Baltimore!

UPDATE: Fill out our action alert to ask Mayor Young for immediate relief from water bills during the crisis, and thank the Councilmembers who are calling for water justice for all Baltimoreans.

“No Time To Care: A Plague on Our Communities” Haggadah

The Haggadah for our 2020 Social Justice Seder is now available for download, use, and incorporation into your seder.

“And We Cry Out” Haggadah

The Haggadah for our 2020 Labor Seder is now available for download, use, and incorporation into your seder.

Action Alert: Tell the Governor to protect incarcerated Marylanders!

Fill out our action alert below asking Governor Hogan to issue an executive order that limits new admissions to jails and prisons, the immediate release of members of vulnerable populations, as defined by the CDC, as well as those in pretrial detention, who are being held for civil immigration offenses, or those with sentences that will soon expire.

Action Alert: Protect DC Childcare

Child care is essential to families, and the services it provides are a cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant economy. The COVID-19 pandemic is now placing these essential services in impossible positions. Fill out our action alert now to tell DC Council and the Mayor: save child care for DC children under 3!

Organization Sign On: DC COVID-19 Relief

DC government’s efforts to cope with the pandemic must not leave anyone behind. Sign the open letter to the Mayor and the Council.

Action Alert: Tell the Governor to protect our most vulnerable communities across Maryland!

In the current international health crisis, more action must be taken to ensure that all Marylanders have all the resources they need to survive. One of the most basic needs, especially with the Governor’s stay-at-home order, is housing. Take action now to demand that Governor Hogan provide critical resources to our most vulnerable communities.

Action Alert: Protect Local Democracy

Montgomery County Council needs to allow people to testify remotely during this crisis. Take action now to make sure the people have a voice in our local government during this crisis.

A turbulent and short Annapolis session

The General Assembly session ended last week. Now it’s time to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished this year, and how our work continues.

Action Alert: Demand real community policing

Baltimore police must serve and protect all Baltimoreans, not treat Black residents as potential criminals. We only have until March 18 to make our voices heard. 

Be strong and courageous: JUFJ community in a time of pandemic

A message from Rabbi Elizabeth Richman on JUFJ’s response to COVID-19.

Annapolis Action Alert: Protect Farmworkers’ Wages

The Maryland Senate just voted to cut some workers out of the minimum wage law. Take action now to block this cruel bill in the House of Delegates.

Action Alert: Keep Montgomery County Children Safe

Police in schools have led to the criminalization of ordinary student behavior, disproportionately targeting Black boys and students with disabilities. This systemic injustice is already a danger to adults and to high school students in Montgomery County, and now the County wants to expand this danger to middle schools. Tell the County to reject the criminalization of children and not to put cops in middle schools.

Annapolis Action Alert: Wrongful Conviction Compensation

All people should be treated with dignity and respect, especially if they have been wrongfully incarcerated. Ask your state legislators to compensate people who have faced wrongful convictions.

In Your Face: The 2020 Mayor’s Budget Engagement Forums

Thomas Friedman and I are not on the same page politically, but I have started obeying a piece of his advice: “If you want to get something done in the world, never forget – ultimately – you have to get out of Facebook and into somebody’s face.”

Annapolis Action Alert: Dignity not Detention and Trust Acts

Everyone should be safe in our state, regardless of documentation. Tell your legislators in Annapolis to support dignity and safety for undocumented Marylanders.

Annapolis Action Alert: Lead Safety for Renters

Everyone has a right to safe, stable, and affordable housing. Tell your state legislators on the Environment and Transportation Committee to demand safe housing for all renters.

Annapolis Action Alert: MVA Privacy Act

All people have a right to be safe and to thrive in our state, regardless of immigration status or documentation. Ask your legislators to support HB892/SB649.

Annapolis Action Alert: Child Interrogation Protection Act

We need to prevent unjust incarceration of minors and ensure that all children are able to speak to an attorney and have their guardians notified before police are able to interrogate them. Ask your legislators who serve on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee to support the Child Interrogation Protection Act.

Annapolis Action Alert: Expand the Vote

Our democratic system must be accessible to everyone who has the legal right to vote, even if they are incarcerated. Ask your legislators who serve on the Ways & Means and Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committees to support the Expand the Vote Act.

Annapolis Action Alert: Women’s Pre-Release Facility

We need to support Marylanders to successfully return from incarceration into the rest of society, and right now we are failing Maryland women, who don’t have the supports in place that we have in place for other people in pre-release. Ask your legislators who serve on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Judiciary Committee to support women’s pre-release services.

Victory! General Assembly Overrides Hogan’s Veto of Education Justice for Immigrants

All people have a right to be safe and to thrive in Maryland, regardless of immigration status or documentation. That includes access to quality public education.

Annapolis Action Alert: Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

Nobody should have to choose between their job and caring for their family. Tell your state legislators to support paid family and medical leave.

Major #PaidLeave4DC milestone announcement!

Earlier this month, the DC Government released the final proposed rules that will govern the District’s forthcoming paid family and medical leave program, set to go into effect in July.

Annapolis Action Alert: Hold Maryland Police Accountable

Law enforcement should serve and protect everyone, but Black and brown Marylanders are facing systemic violence and over-policing every day. Tell your state legislators to speak out for transparent and accountable policing.

The People Will Win: Reflections on the 2020 DC Community Meeting

On Sunday, January 12, over seventy local activists gathered together for JUFJ’s 2020 Community Meeting. During the event, JUFJ leader Scott Goldstein shared that on his great-grandmother’s grave are inscribed the following words: “The people will win.”

Action Alert: Reform Baltimore Police Interrogation Policy

The Baltimore Police Department is revising their policies on youth interrogation and is accepting public comment until December 13. Tell them that their policy is not in line with our values.

#TestimonyTuesday: Mold in Baltimore

Mold is dangerous to everyone, but some people are especially vulnerable, like the many Baltimore children who suffer from asthma. Despite this danger, Baltimore’s housing code does not protect vulnerable renters from the breathing problems, headaches, and worse conditions caused by mold.

Action Alert: Tell Mayor Young to support Fair Elections!

Voters decided in 2018 that we wanted Fair Elections when we supported Question H at the ballot box. Now Councilman Burnett’s bill is making Fair Elections a reality, and the Council has unanimously supported the bill. Encourage the Mayor to sign the bill into law!

Jews United for Justice Unionizes with NPEU

Today, the employees of Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) announced that they are unionizing with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). JUFJ management has voluntarily recognized its staff’s union.

Action Alert: DC Council, Expel Jack Evans

Tell the DC Council to expel Councilmember Evans for his corruption.

Action Alert: Thanks for fighting for water justice!

Baltimore’s unjust water policy disproportionately burdens Black families, but now the Water Accountability and Equity Act has passed! Thank the Mayor, the Council President, and your Councilmember for holding firm for truly fair and equitable access to water for everyone in Baltimore.

Thanks for celebrating with us at the 2019 Heschel Vision Awards!

Last Sunday, hundreds of people came together to celebrate local organizing and to lift up powerful honorees SEIU 32BJ, Bruce and Susie Turnbull, Betsy Krieger and Karen Kreisberg, and keynote speaker George Derek Musgrove. We heard how they’ve helped shape our community from the folks who know their work best. 

Action Alert: Tell Delegate Rosenberg to Continue Supporting Accountable Policing!

Officers’ disciplinary records should be available to the public, to increase trust and accountability between the community and the police. We urge Delegate Rosenberg to stand strong in his support and continue to be a leader.

Action Alert: Tell Montgomery County Council to support racial equity

After a year long community engagement process, the Montgomery County Council is about to vote on a new Racial Equity and Social Justice policy for Montgomery County that will help our government treat everyone fairly and with dignity. Write to them to support this important policy change.

UPDATED Action Alert: Tell the Council to support accountable policing

Montgomery County police need to be accountable to the people of Montgomery County. Tell the Council to support real civilian oversight of the police.

Action Alert: Tell the Council to support fair elections

Voters decided in 2018 that we wanted Fair Elections when we supported Question H at the ballot box. Now Councilman Burnett’s bill is making the Fair Elections Fund a reality.

Action Alert: Water Justice Means Racial Justice

Baltimore’s unjust water policy disproportionately burdens Black families. Write to the Mayor and the Council to tell them: Water justice means racial justice.

Action Alert: End Baltimore Police gag orders!

After years of police misconduct and abuse, everyone in our city knows that we need to hold our police department accountable.

Silencing victims of police brutality through gag orders is the opposite of accountability.

Action Alert: Congratulations, Senator Ferguson and Speaker Jones!

Baltimore State Senator Bill Ferguson (D46) has been selected by his party as their nominee to be the next Senate President in Annapolis. This spring, Baltimore Delegate Adrienne Jones (D10) was elected by her colleagues as the next Speaker of the House. Send your representative an email saying congratulations, and reminding them of our 2020 priorities.

REPORT: Restore the Vote Hearing

Central to our practice of teshuva is the idea that we all have the capacity to change, to learn from our mistakes and to repair harm that we create. It calls us to give people second chances. There are few things about our criminal justice system that actually repair harm and support people through transformation.

Announcing our Annapolis 2020 Campaigns

JUFJ members, staff, and partners gathered in Laurel as the new year began to choose our 2020 campaigns for justice in Maryland. Here is what our community chose:

Immigrant Justice in 5780

An update on JUFJ’s work alongside immigrants and advocates to protect the rights and the safety of local people and communities. Whether it’s at the border or here in our own neighborhoods, schools, local businesses, and courts, we have seen this before, and we will not allow it to continue here.

REPORT: Ward 2 Candidates Pitch Themselves as Ethical Alternatives in First Forum

Six candidates for Ward 2 DC Council gathered in Dupont last month with hundreds of voters for a forum to kick off the 2020 election season. JUFJ co-hosted the forum along with the DC Working Families Party, DC for Democracy, and others.

A demonstrably false portrait of immigrants as violent criminals

On Friday, September 13, I came face to face with right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis right here in my own backyard.

Action Alert: Chairman Mendelson, Stand Up to Corruption

Tell the DC Council Chair to fully investigate Councilmember Evans’ corruption.

Action Alert: Montgomery County welcomes immigrants

Tell County Executive Elrich and the County Council that Montgomery County prides itself on welcoming immigrants.

Action Alert: Tell Montgomery County to stand with immigrants

Immigrants in Montgomery County who are detained by ICE need lawyers. Tell the County Council that ALL of them should have access to deportation defense funding.

Action Alert: Support Incarcerated DC Youth

Tell DC Council that everyone deserves a second chance and that mass incarceration doesn’t help our community.

Action Alert: Paid Family Leave should be for everyone

Tell DC that everyone should have access to Paid Family Leave.

ICE out of Howard County!

Tisha B’Av Rally to #CloseTheCamps speech by Leslie Salgado, Chair of Friends of Latin America

Talk to your ANC about Birth-to-3 for All DC

Jews United for Justice is joining our partners in the Birth to Three DC coalition to raise awareness and build public support for DC’s revolutionary new law for universal childcare and full wraparound services for all kids in DC from prenatal care until age three, the Birth To Three For All Act.

Organization Sign On: Howard County, stop profiting off of ICE

Howard County is enabling and profiting off of ICE cruelty. Sign the open letter to the County Executive to end this agreement.

Action Alert: Tell Howard County to stop profiting off of ICE

Howard County is enabling and profiting off of ICE cruelty. Tell the County Executive to end this agreement.

Thank You: Justice Work as Keva

Before I started at JUFJ, justice work often felt arai. It was the movable part of my life, something I tried to fit into the “fixed” parts of my schedule. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Life is full of different responsibilities, to others and oneself. In contrast, working at JUFJ has given me the privilege to be part of a community where working for justice is keva.

Press Release: JUFJ supports Tonya Chapman for Montgomery County Police Chief

County Executive Elrich’s nominee is the right person to build a strong, trusting relationship between MCPD and the residents of Montgomery County.

Action Alert: Thank County Executive Elrich for Signing a Trust Order

Montgomery County is the safest place in the region to be an immigrant. Thank Marc Elrich for his executive order.

Update: Never Again

JUFJ has been working for years alongside immigrants and advocates in Maryland and DC to protect the rights and the safety of local people and communities. Whether it’s at the border or here in our own neighborhoods, schools, local businesses, and courts, we have seen this before, and we will not allow it to continue here.

You Had Me at “Coffee”

In the wake of the 2016 election, I felt compelled to do something. The specific something was less clear. I pride myself on my twin abilities to show up and carry things. It’s amazing how far those two skills will take you in life.

#TestimonyTuesday: Sara Nathan, Montgomery County Police and ICE

Montgomery County police questioned my former student and his father on May 20. They expected to return home that afternoon. Instead, the county police turned them over to ICE and they remain locked up in Jessup.

Action Alert: Thank DC Councilmembers Voting For Ethical Government

Thank the six DC Councilmembers who spoke up and voted for ethical governance in our city.

Lights for Liberty Readings

JUFJ member Virginia Spatz prepared these readings and prayers for those who want to join us in their Shabbat observances at home or in their own congregations or minyans. Feel free to use these texts in your Shabbat observance in whatever way makes sense to you.

Birth to Three DC Summer Actions

Jews United for Justice is joining our partners in the Birth to Three DC coalition to raise awareness and build public support for DC’s revolutionary new law for universal childcare and full wraparound services for all kids in DC from prenatal care until age three, the Birth To Three For All Act.

Report: Racial Equity Community Conversation

On Tuesday, June 18, JUFJ hosted a Racial Equity Community Conversation to discuss systemic racism in Montgomery County and to provide feedback to county government as they craft a racial equity policy. Here are reflections on the event from two JUFJers.

Rabbi Alana Suskin at the memorial for Robert White

Rabbi Alana Suskin spoke at the memorial for Robert White, who was shot and killed by a Montgomery County police officer last summer while walking through his own neighborhood. Here is what she said:

#JewsAgainstICE

The cruel and unjustifiable actions of ICE in our homes and along the border cannot be tolerated. JUFJ has fought alongside immigrants in DC and Maryland to protect their rights as members of our communities and as human beings, from the right to a public education and a legal defense to the basic protections of safety and shelter.

Update: Water/Color Press Conference

Baltimore City desperately needs Fair Elections. Public financing of elections allows more diverse candidates to run, more opportunities for candidates to meet with regular voters rather than wealthy donors, and more voices to be heard in the political process.

Make Your Voice Heard on Racial Justice in Montgomery County

There has been one disturbing story after another about how Black and Brown people are mistreated by police. JUFJer Melissa Goemann shares those stories and ways to get involved to reform policing.

Report: Montgomery County Police Chief Forum

On June 6, JUFJ members attended a public forum on policing with Montgomery County Executive Elrich and Council Member Will Jawando. Read some of their reflections.

Report: Legislator Lag Ba’Omer

JUFJ met with many of Montgomery County’s State Senators and Delegates at our Legislator Lag Ba’Omer picnic last month. Thanks to all of the elected officials who joined us!

Update: Baltimore Fair Elections

Baltimore City desperately needs Fair Elections. Public financing of elections allows more diverse candidates to run, more opportunities for candidates to meet with regular voters rather than wealthy donors, and more voices to be heard in the political process.

2019 Baltimore City Council Accountability Meetings

DC candidates: Choose Fair Elections

Tell DC 2020 candidates to participate in the Fair Elections program!

DC chooses to #PutPeopleFirst in our budget!

DC’s whirlwind budget season is winding down, and thanks to sustained advocacy and courageous community leadership there’s a lot to celebrate! JUFJ fought for a budget that will #PutPeopleFirst, and our coalitions made some important progress. Here’s some of what community activism achieved this budget cycle.

Action Alert: DC Council, #PutPeopleFirst!

Tell DC Council to #PutPeopleFirst in our budget!

#TestimonyTuesday: Anita Lampel, Montgomery County Budget

I am Anita Lampel.  I live in Bethesda and I am active in local advocacy with Jews United for Justice.  Thank you for letting me speak in support of funding for Early Childhood Education in Montgomery County.

#TestimonyTuesday: Marilyn Kresky-Wolff, Montgomery County Budget

My name is Marilyn Kresky-Wolff and today I am representing Jews United for Justice. The Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam, meaning Repairing the World, teaches us that the best way to enable those less fortunate in society is to give them tools for self-sufficiency.

Mazel Tov, Speaker Jones!

On May 1, 2019, Delegate Adrienne Jones of Baltimore County (District 10) was elected the Speaker of the House of Delegates. Mazel tov / congratulations to Speaker Jones!

#TestimonyTuesday: Brian Johnson: Fight for $15

My name is Brian A. Johnson; and as an Iraq Army Veteran who is an American Descendant of Slaves (ADOS), I urge you to pass SB280.I believe in raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 (or sooner) with annual COLA thereafter. Though I moved to Baltimore City in 2013, the narrative that makes up a majority of predominantly ADOS communities was all too familiar to me: redlined neighborhoods, abandoned factories, and abject poverty.

#TestimonyTuesday: Lauren Robertson, Birth to Three for All DC

My students did not come to me from nowhere on that first day of school. I was not their first teacher. Families told me tales of a patchwork of child care and early childhood services, cobbled together for their child’s first three years.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jane Hayashi-Kim, Birth to Three for All DC

Babies and toddlers learn best from face-to-face interactions with caring adults. Parent education and quality center-based care help kids learn language, and language skills help kids succeed in school later on. 

#TestimonyTuesday: Mariah Cowsert, Birth to Three for All DC

The costs of child care in DC are the highest in the country yet educators who work with infants and toddlers are among the lowest paid workers in the District. Funding the Birth to Three For All DC Act would help bridge gaps in economic inequalities in the District for not only the young children and families it centers but for the workers it strengthens resources and salaries for.

#TestimonyTuesday: Travis Ballie, Birth to Three for All DC

I do not have kids and I have no plans to have kids. I am here today because I am seeing my Ward 7 neighbors who do have families hurting and being pushed out of DC because they cannot choose between paying the rent and paying childcare.

#TestimonyTuesday: Sarah Novick, REAR Act

I believe, and most people in our society believe, everyone should have a fair chance in life, a say in democracy, a decent place to live. But in our city, Black and brown people have less wealth, worse schools, and less access to jobs and economic opportunity.

#TestimonyTuesday: You, yes YOU, can testify!

I have lived in DC for nearly 15 years but until last month I had no idea that individual residents could testify before the Council. In fact, and I am slightly embarrassed to admit this, I had never set foot in my Councilmembers’ offices in the Wilson Building.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jerry Kickenson, Limiting Solitary Confinement

Jewish law and tradition, while supporting the necessity of punishing the guilty, also tempers that punishment. The Torah even refers to the guilty person as our “brother,” reminding us that although worthy of punishment, the guilty one is still a human being like us who should not be unnecessarily degraded.

#TestimonyTuesday: Tasha Link, Limiting Solitary Confinement

My name is Natasha Robinson-Link. I am a resident of Baltimore City’s 45th legislative district, and I am a member of Jews United for Justice. I am testifying in support of HB1001.

#TestimonyTuesday: Andy Miller, Limiting Solitary Confinement

I am a voter in District 11, Delegate Jon Cardin’s district, and I submit this testimony in favor of HB745 and HB1001 as a private citizen concerned about the excessive use in Maryland correctional facilities of restrictive housing. I have read extensively on this topic, and learned from lawyers working on this issue and from formerly incarcerated individuals who had personal experience with restrictive housing. I believe this practice is barbaric and violates fundamental tenets of my Jewish faith.

#TestimonyTuesday: Bianca Palmisano, Limiting Solitary Confinement

My name is Bianca Palmisano and I am a nursing student at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, a resident of District 46, and a volunteer with Jews United for Justice. I’m writing today to support HB 1029, the Restrictive Housing Reform Act of 2019, because I believe, and Jewish tradition teaches, that everyone, including incarcerated people deserves respect and basic human dignity, which is too often stripped away when they enter restrictive housing.

Action Alert: DC Council, Fund Our Children!

Email the DC Council to let them know that our budget should help all DC kids thrive!

#TestimonyTuesday: Nayda Kuachusri, Limiting Solitary Confinement

My name is Nayda Kuachusri and I have been a public defender for over ten years and am currently a Jeremiah Fellow with Jews United for Justice. I write this testimony in support of House Bill 1002.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jo Shifrin, Limiting Solitary Confinement

Maryland’s restrictive housing, in which two prisoners are held in a cell no bigger than a parking space for 22 hours a day, does not rehabilitate inmates or prepare them to rejoin society. The trauma caused by restrictive housing is comparable to the effect of solitary confinement.The harm we do to inmates kept in restrictive housing creates damaged human beings who have a harder time integrating into society and may pose a risk to members of our communities and themselves.

We made it through the Annapolis session!

The General Assembly session ended on Monday night. Now it’s time to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished this year, and how our work continues.

Ariana’s Labor Seder Speech

Hello! I’m Ariana, I’m 17, I’m an intern at Jews United For Justice and I’ve been working here since September. Before I started working at JUFJ I had school, a job, and various things going on but I never felt like I was doing anything. It took me a while to figure out what I felt like I was supposed to be doing. I had always been interested in social justice, in change but in an abstract way. I never really realized that regular people could make a difference.

Action Alert: Make water affordable for all Baltimoreans!

Tell the acting Mayor to make water affordable and water bills accountable for all Baltimoreans!

Action Alert: Justice for Incarcerated Marylanders!

We’re in the final week of the General Assembly session, and Annapolis needs to hear from you about justice for our incarcerated community members!

Fight for $15 is the law of the land!

We won the Fight for $15! Governor’s veto OVERRIDDEN!

Report: How I Learned to Testify

JUFJer Carol Stern has written lots of testimony for the Maryland General Assembly this year, and she’s here to tell you that you can too!

Report: JUFJ and Jamie Raskin at Oseh Shalom

JUFJer Michael Amster reflects on taking action with JUFJ and Congressman Jamie Raskin

Action Alert: Make the Baltimore Police Department accountable to Baltimoreans!

Annapolis legislators shouldn’t oversee the Baltimore Police Department. Baltimore residents should.

Action Alert: Justice for Workers, Renters, Immigrants, & Incarcerated People!

We’re in the final weeks of the General Assembly session, and Annapolis needs to hear from you about justice for workers, renters, immigrants, and incarcerated people!

LETT Act Testimony: Melissa Coretz Goemann

JUFJ member Melissa Goemann testified for police accountability in Montgomery County.

Action Alert: Fight for $15 passed the Senate! Now what?

The Maryland State Senate just passed a $15 minimum wage bill!! Here’s what happens next and what you can do to help.

Action Alert: Support fair Baltimore County elections!

Tell the Baltimore County Council: our candidates should care about all residents’ needs, not just their donors.

Action Alert: Fight Corruption on DC Council (updated)

Councilmember Evans’ behavior is unethical and unacceptable. Tell the Council: A reprimand is not enough. Evans can’t run our government’s ethics and finances.

Update: No tax breaks for DC mansions…for now!

We blocked a regressive tax cut for the wealthy!! Now what happens?

#TestimonyTuesday: Jeffrey Rubin, Just Cause Eviction

My name is Jeffrey Rubin. I’ve been a resident of Montgomery County since 1986, and am currently Co-Chair of the Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) Economic Justice Team in Maryland. On behalf of JUFJ, I provide this testimony in strong support of Bill MC 22-19.

#TestimonyTuesday: Molly Amster, Water Tax Sale

My name is Molly Amster. I am a resident of Baltimore City’s 43rd legislative district, and am the Baltimore Director of Jews United for Justice (JUFJ), which organizes 5,000 people around the state in support of local social, racial, and economic justice issues. I submit this testimony in support of SB0096 on behalf of JUFJ.

#TestimonyTuesday: Ariana Brenig, Fight for $15

My name is Ariana Brenig and I am testifying in support of HB166: Labor and Employment – Payment of Minimum Wages – Minimum Wage and Enforcement (Fight for Fifteen). I am an intern at Jews United for Justice, an organization which brings together more than 5,000 Marylanders to fight for racial, social, and economic justice. I am also a hostess, which I have been for a year and a half, since I was 16 years old.

#TestimonyTuesday: Samantha Blau, Mandatory Minimums

My name is Samantha Blau, and I am an educator, a resident of Baltimore, and a leader with Jews United for Justice, an organization of 5,000 Jews and allies in Maryland who are working for racial, social, and economic justice. I am testifying today in opposition to SB-166.

#TestimonyTuesday: Natalia Skolnik: Fight for $15

My name is Natalia Skolnik, I live in Baltimore City, and I am here today to testify in favor of HB166, the bill to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. I am a member of Jews United for Justice, an organization of 5,000 Jews and allies in Maryland working for social, racial, and economic justice.

Action Alert: No tax breaks for DC mansions!

Sign the open letter to DC Council saying that you want to pay your property taxes, not lose nearly $40 million for vital programs!

Victory for Renters’ Rights!

Together, we stopped the landlord lobby from making Rent Court even more unfair to tenants.

Report: Bowser’s Budget Forums

JUFJer Annie Rosenthal reports back from her first Mayor’s Budget Engagement Forums.

Action Alert: Fight for $15 is in the Senate!

Tell your representatives in Annapolis: don’t stand in the way of a raise for your constituents.

URGENT Action Alert: Fight for $15 Committee Vote!

Tell your Delegates in Annapolis: don’t cut anyone out of the Fight for $15!

#TestimonyTuesday: Montgomery County Young Democrats, Fight for $15

We are writing on behalf of the Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD), a group of young Democrats who are active at the state and local level in support of policies that will benefit all Americans. We urge a favorable report on HB 166, which would raise the minimum wage in Maryland to $15 per hour by July 2023.

#TestimonyTuesday: Mark Wolff, Fight for $15

My name is Mark Wolff, I am a resident of Montgomery County, and I am a member of Jews United for Justice, a Maryland and DC organization advocating for progressive values and local change.

#TestimonyTuesday: Sarah Hiller, Fight for $15

My name is Sarah Hiller. I work as a barista and server at a restaurant in Baltimore City and I am a member of Jews United for Justice. I am here in strong support of HB166.

#TestimonyTuesday: Jeffrey Rubin, Fight for $15

My name is Jeffrey Rubin. I am the son of a small business owner, a Maryland resident since 1986, and an active member of JUFJ. I provide this testimony in strong support of an increase in the minimum wage as outlined in HB166.

#TestimonyTuesday: Dana Lande, Fight for $15

My name is Dana Lande and I am a homeowner and small business owner in Rockville. I am also a member of Jews United for Justice. I am testifying today in favor of HB166, to raise the minimum wage in Maryland to $15 per hour and subsequently index it to the rate of inflation.

#TestimonyTuesday: Rabbi Jeremy Kridel, Fight for $15

My name is Jeremy Kridel. I am the Rabbi at Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism; about 60% of Machar’s congregants live in Maryland. I am a leader at Jews United for Justice, which counts as its members more than 5,000 Jews and allies in Maryland. I am also a resident of Maryland, residing in District 12.

Action Alert: Justice for immigrants, renters, and incarcerated people

Time is running out! Tell Annapolis now: treat your constituents with dignity and respect.

Action Alert: Tell Your Senator to Fight for $15!

Tell your Senators in Annapolis: 700,000 Marylanders deserve a raise!

UPDATED Action Alert: Tell Your Delegate to Fight for $15!

Tell your Delegates in Annapolis: 700,000 Marylanders deserve a raise!

#FamilyFirstFridays: We cannot afford to delay Paid Family Leave

On January 29, 2019, Paid Family Leave Campaign Manager Joanna Blotner testified at an oversight hearing about why we need to stay on track to implement universal paid family leave. Here’s what she said.

Let’s Pass the LETT Act!

Councilmember Will Jawando wants Montgomery County police to be accountable to the people. JUFJ agrees.

Action Alert: Water Is Life, Homes are Sacred

Tell your representatives in Annapolis: nobody should lose their home because of water bills.

For those attending the 2019 Women’s March

We are sharing information as we learn it about Jewish participation in the 2019 Women’s Marches in our region.

Action Alert: Say NO to water rate hikes!

Tell the Mayor and the Board of Estimates to say NO to a 30% water rate hike!

Bonimot Tzedek Guest Post: Kayla

In November, I had the chance to speak to about 30 members of the Montgomery County delegation to the Maryland state legislature, including Senator Jeff Waldstreicher and Delegate Marc Korman, the chair of the delegation. My friend Talia and I presented the testimony that our Bonimot Tzedek group put together under the guidance of Yael Horowitz.

Shondas and mitzvahs at DC Council

DC Council took important steps to protect renters and transit riders, but chose corporate tax cuts over homeless residents.

Action Alert: Water for all Baltimoreans!

Tell the Baltimore City Council that everyone in Baltimore should have access to safe, affordable water with fair and accurate billing.

Tell County Executive Elrich: Racial Equity, Trust Act, Education

Tell our new County Executive about our priorities for Montgomery County: racial equity policies, safety for immigrant residents, funding for early-childhood education.

Action Alert: Homeless residents need funding, not corporate tax cuts

Tell the DC Council that sales tax revenue should fund services for people who need them, not corporate tax cuts for businesses that don’t.

Tell DC Council: say YES to renters, voters, and workers!

The DC Council is voting TODAY on three important bills, and they need to hear from you about why they should vote YES on all three!

#NoPayToPlay in DC

The Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2018 (B22-0107) would limit contributions by District contractors and strengthen the District’s campaign finance laws. This is a critical step to combat the appearance of undue influence and corruption by those with business before the DC government.

Videos of JUFJ’s 20th Anniversary Gala

At our 20th anniversary, JUFJ honored leaders in our community, looked back at 20 years of our work, and prepared for the next 20 years.

Baltimore Becomes First Major City to Ban Water Privatization

Baltimore voters made history today by voting in favor of passing ballot question E, a city charter amendment that bans privatization of the city’s water and sewer systems.

Tree of Life

There are no words to express the hurt that our community is facing. We are horrified, heartbroken, fearful, angry, and in mourning, in response to the murder of 11 people this morning in a sacred Jewish space on the holy day of Shabbat. If you are looking for a place to come together — a place to be Jewish, and proud, and sorrowful at the same time — we hope you’ll join us at a local event.

DC Elections 101

Real policy change involves elected officials at all levels of local government. Here are the basics about how we vote in Washington, DC.

People’s Town Hall: The work isn’t over at BPD

More than three years after the murder of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore Police Department still needs to overhaul its department policies and culture to protect poor, Black, and Brown Baltimoreans from police brutality. BPD is not going to transform itself. It will take consistent pressure and mobilization from everyday Baltimoreans to create the profound kinds of changes that will be necessary to make our community safe for people of every identity.

Report: JUFJ Baltimore Takes on the Election

Last week, JUFJ-Baltimore held another of our monthly community convenings–this one zooming in on the election.

#FamilyFirstFridays: What’s At Stake

As a young woman with two incurable autoimmune diseases, my life is already pretty hard. This year alone, I have endured one hospitalization, two biopsies, two colonoscopies, and five IV drug infusions. Juggling my medical appointments is practically a part-time job. Did I mention that I also work full-time while pursuing a Ph.D?

#FamilyFirstFridays: First I mourned, then I testified. Now I’m fighting for DC to put families first.

Last year I wrote in an op-ed in the Afro, “[w]hen I hear about D.C. [elected officials] who are trying to destroy our paid leave law, I imagine they must be lucky that they haven’t yet had to care for a spouse or partner or child who is sick or dying. I can’t see how anyone who has been through this wouldn’t want everyone to be able to be covered through this.” I wrote those words still grieving for the mother I lost without the chance to say goodbye.

Shabbat Programs: The Immigrant & Refugee Crisis

In response to the immigrant and refugee crisis, congregations across Maryland are hosting programs to educate our community and give members opportunities to take action.  Many congregations are hosting programs as part of HIAS National Refugee Shabbat.

#FamilyFirstFridays: Real Leadership Needed for Women and Families

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Tell Delegates to Respect Our Votes!

This lame-duck Delegation should not select the chair for the Delegates we vote into office who haven’t even taken their seats yet.

Fingerprints On Their Souls

I could almost see his fingerprints on all of their souls as they spoke about him and sang in his memory. And unexpectedly enough, Robert Lawrence White also left his fingerprints on a stranger’s soul. On mine.

Testimony of Rabbi Elizabeth Richman on One Fair Wage

Many employers are not following the law, and too many employees are living in poverty as a result. Some today have called for better enforcement of our existing laws. But promises of more enforcement alone have simply not worked. We need a system that doesn’t require the kind of enforcement we can’t provide.

Montgomery County Trust Act: Resources

Below is a compilation of information and resources on Trust Act policies. These resources explain why we’ve chosen to campaign for a Trust Act in Montgomery County right now.

Reaching for the jolt of joy

I felt exhausted going into Rosh Hashanah. A challenging year at work. The horror of national politics. The ongoing stresses of being a working parent. I am weary. Many of us are weary.

How do I find the energy for another phone call to a voter or an elected official, another Sunday knocking doors to get out the vote, another protest?

Recipes For A Sweet And Just New Year

My grandmother, Ruth Glauber Dworkin, was many things. She was a fierce union activist, a devoted teacher, a talented writer, an avid tennis player, a music lover, and a wonderful grandmother.

She was not a cook.

As we break out the apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, I wanted to share a story about my grandmother’s cooking.

#FamilyFirstFridays: Paid Family Leave for All

Ensuring all DC workers are eligible for paid family and medical leave makes the District’s program more fair and robust, and works to the benefit of DC residents and their employers.

Join us for Labor on the Bimah 5778

Thank you to all of the congregations who are participating in Labor on the Bimah this year and sharing the Jewish values behind the #FightFor15!

A Reflection on the August Convening

When I think about social justice, I feel I have come to terms with what it means to work towards change in many of my identities — as a white person, as a cisgender man, and as a queer person to name a few. But as a Jewish person? What does that look like?

The Baltimore Jeremiah Fellowship Needs You!

The Jeremiah Fellowship helped Julia to see social activism as an inherently Jewish act. Want to learn about social, economic, and racial injustice in Baltimore, and how to address these issues through a Jewish lens? Become a Fellow!

Labor on the Bimah 2018/5778: Maryland Campaign for a $15 Minimum Wage

Since 1998, Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) has worked to put “labor” back into Labor Day by engaging our local Jewish communities in a collective conversation about our texts, our historical experiences, and the challenges facing workers today.

#FamilyFirstFridays: Paid leave promotes breastfeeding equity

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Victory! Baltimore City Council Passes Ban on Water Privatization

On Monday, JUFJniks gathered with dozens of coalition partners and elected officials for a historic moment: the Baltimore City Council passed a charter amendment banning the privatization of the city’s water resources.

Fight the Right: no Nazis in our community

JUFJ is hosting two community gatherings after Sunday’s neo-Nazi rally, but we are also sharing a variety of community responses that you may want to attend.

#FamilyFirstFridays: Honor Our Elders

I bet when you hear about paid family leave, the first image in your mind is of excited (and probably exhausted) new parents taking time off from work to bond with their infant children. That’s great, but what about people like me?

Montgomery County Trust Act Campaign

Montgomery County needs a Trust Act ordinance. Here’s why.

Local Coalition Decries Decision that Fatal Police Shooting Was “Justified.” Demands Transparency and Accountability.

The Silver Spring Justice Coalition, an organization of Montgomery County community residents and local groups, releases the following statement:

We are deeply concerned by the Howard County State’s Attorney’s decision that the fatal shooting of Mr. Robert White on June 11 by Montgomery County police officer, Anand Badgujar, was legally justified.

Report: Baltimore Celebrates Tu B’Av and Solidarity

We gathered last night with our co-host Hinenu: the Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, to celebrate Tu B’Av over desserts. In honor of the Jewish holiday that parallels Valentine’s Day, we enjoyed a  film screening of ‘Pride’ (2014), which tells the unlikely story of solidarity and friendship between a group of queer people in London and striking [...]

Be a Jeremiah Fellow in DC/MoCo

Do you want to learn more about the local political landscape? To gain a deeper understanding of social, racial, and economic justice? To be in community with people who care about issues you care about? To connect with Jewish history, text, and tradition? To be an effective Jewish social justice change-maker? You should apply for the Jeremiah Fellowship!

Report: JUFJniks Stand with Organizing Marriott Workers

On Tuesday morning, JUFJ joined dozens of community leaders, elected officials, and workers to make a straightforward demand of the management at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel: respect the right of workers to decide whether or not to unionize.

Join the JUFJ Baltimore Community Building and Education Team!

The Community Building and Education team is made up of some of the talented educators and planners that bring you all of the fabulous programming JUFJ puts on, from the Social Justice Seder to our workshops on antisemitism and white supremacy.

Report: Baltimore JUFJers Take Action for Migrants

Thanks to the over 50 JUFJers who joined us at our July Community Convening!

We studied how Jewish texts see our duty towards migrants, empathized with our migrant neighbors by remembering and sharing our families’ stories of migration, and workshopped the tactics we can use while organizing for migrant justice.

Paid Leave Town Hall August 23

There is a lot at stake in how DOES designs the fine print details of paid leave benefit administration and the agency needs to hear directly from DC workers about these details that are ‘make it or break it’ for program usability; they need to know we’re paying attention.

Paid leave regulations: tax collection

The Department of Employment Services (DOES), the agency responsible for implementing DC’s new paid family and medical leave program, has released a second set of proposed regulations outline program administration for paid leave tax collections.

Fight for One Fair Wage!

After DC passed Initiative 77 last month, the Council immediately moved to overturn the voters’ decision and block one fair wage for all workers. ICYMI, seven DC councilmembers – Chairman Mendelson and Councilmembers Bonds, Evans, Gray, McDuffie, Todd, and T. White – introduced a bill last Tuesday, July 10, calling for a full repeal of Initiative 77.

Be a Jeremiah Fellow in Baltimore!

I was a Jeremiah Fellow in the 2014-2015 cohort. Jeremiah is how I connected to my family’s history, and how I found my Jewish community in Baltimore.

Learn about racial and social injustice here in Baltimore, and be a part of the solution to these problems. Become a Jeremiah Fellow.

Water Rates are Skyrocketing

Since January, there’s been no movement. DPW and the mayor are capable of addressing the affordability crisis right now with their administrative authority.

Call Now for Marta’s Release!

Despite the outpouring of community support, the Baltimore field office chose to arbitrarily detain Marta Rodriguez, even though they have the discretion to let her go back to her family and community. We will not stand by as this agency cruelly tears our communities apart. Marta is under immediate threat of deportation, and we need you to call on ICE and Maryland officials to help stop her deportation.

Mochin d’gadlut

My name is Sam Blau, and I’m a member of Jews United for Justice Leadership Council. We are a local grassroots activist organization. And we stand in solidarity with migrant families.

Something to know about Jews is that we have a section of Torah for each week of the year. This week’s Torah reading is about Balak, King of the Moabites, who sees the Israelites camping along his borders.

What’s at Stake in Montgomery County: Education

Rabbi Tarfon and the Elders were once reclining in the upper story of Nitza’s house, in Lod, when this question was asked of them: Is study greater or is action greater? Rabbi Tarfon answered and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. The others answered and said: Study is greater, […]

What’s at Stake in Montgomery County: Racial Equity

Rabbi Tarfon and the Elders were once reclining in the upper story of Nitza’s house, in Lod, when this question was asked of them: Is study greater or is action greater? Rabbi Tarfon answered and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. The others answered and said: Study is greater, […]

What’s at Stake in Montgomery County: Economic Justice

Rabbi Tarfon and the Elders were once reclining in the upper story of Nitza’s house, in Lod, when this question was asked of them: Is study greater or is action greater? Rabbi Tarfon answered and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. The others answered and said: Study is greater, […]

What’s at Stake in Montgomery County: Immigration

Rabbi Tarfon and the Elders were once reclining in the upper story of Nitza’s house, in Lod, when this question was asked of them: Is study greater or is action greater? Rabbi Tarfon answered and said: Action is greater. Rabbi Akiva answered and said: Study is greater. The others answered and said: Study is greater, […]

Where is the Paid Family Leave Campaign Now?

After two years of hard work by the DC Paid Family Leave Campaign — a campaign comprising hundreds of coalition partners and thousands of individual supporters and community leaders — the DC Council passed the Universal Paid Leave Act (UPLA) in December of 2016. The District’s paid leave law establishes an insurance program to  provide […]

2017 Women’s March Shabbat Sermon

3200 years ago, says the Torah, “a new king rose over the land.” This king, this Pharaoh, does not know the Israelites.
This king, this Pharaoh, looks around his new kingdom and sees something he does not like: People who look different from him. People who speak a different language. People with different names. People who dress differently than he does.

This king looks around: There are too many of them, he says. They might be disloyal, he says. Sometimes, the parasha is just spot on.

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