This year was our first year of running the full Bonimot Tzedek program. While year round justice based programming has happened in the past, this year felt really special! At the start of this year we had a peula (activity) about the interconnectedness of social justice issues and how they are all important but sometimes you need to be able to focus in to be efficient and effective organizers. Together, we chose to focus on issues of Immigration Justice in our communities.
Some highlights from this year included:
- Speaking at the Priorities Hearing in front of Montgomery County state delegates, and 100 other people, about the TRUST Act.
- Going to Annapolis to lobby for the TRUST Act.
- Learning about art activism and designing what billboards we would want to see in a better world.
- Speaking to a senior organizer from CASA de Maryland about the difference between direct service and direct action.
- Going to Philadelphia for a weekend seminar about Jewish history, how we map power, and how we’re all connected in social justice work.
We ended our year with a meaningful party where the participants had a chance to share things they had learned throughout the year. I felt really honored to be able to learn alongside the participants and lead this program. One of the most impactful lessons I learned this year was that the youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are who we should be looking towards today – they understand the complexities and the challenges of the world we are living in deeply and they have the hope, the creativity and the agency to create and dream up a better one. I am grateful that I got to share that dream with them for a few months and I am so excited to see how the program grows and develops over the next few years. We have some special things planned for Yom Tzedek so keep an eye out for that as well!
I know the program is going to be in good hands with Sara! She’s going to take over for me (Yael) starting in August! Sara recently graduate from Smith College with a BA in Sociology. In her last year of college, she spent most of her time facilitating a class on grassroots community organizing. Through this she became really interested in dialogue facilitation and radical/experiential education. Sara grew up in Rockville, and attended Jewish summer camp for 11 summers. She’s really passionate about social justice work and youth empowerment and is so excited to be joining the Mosh community!
If you want to register for Bonimot Tzedek 2019-20 you can do so here: https://forms.gle/uD87va5B6YYShBFF7