The Roundtable builds the capacity of our organizations by convening regular in-person trainings for staff from across the network. Consistently, at least half of the participants in these trainings are new to the Roundtable.
In October 2014, the Roundtable convened 60 Jewish Social Justice professionals from 30 organizations from across the country for a two-tracked gathering on: Advanced Community Organizing facilitated by JOIN for Justice and Internal Organizational Structures faciliated by representatives from The Management Center and Bikkurim. Attendees were given the opportunity to learn from each other in addition to experts while also leaving with concrete pragmatic professional skills to enhance their practice. In December 2015, a similar sized group gathered to learn fundraising skills from Ruth Messinger with American Jewish World Service and Idit Klein with Keshet, as well as from each other.
2016 and 2017 brought even more trainings and learning, specifically in the areas of building a strong Executive Board (trained by Joan Garry), racial justice (trained by Yavilah McCoy, Suzanne Feinspan, Dove Kent, Koach Frazier, and Miriam Messinger), and fundraising skills (with Ruth Messinger, Idit Klein, and Stephanie Rapp).
The Jewish Social Justice Roundtable convened over 120 staff of Roundtable organizations at Pearlstone Retreat Center in November 2013 for our first Network Assembly. The Network Assembly built relationships across Roundtable organizations, engaged in collective visioning and built skills and capacity of the Jewish social justice field. 20% of participants led activities, including 18 sessions on topics like: Cultivating Spiritual Sustainability, What Anti-Oppression Organizing and Constituency Organizing Have to Say to Each Other, and Challenges and Opportunities of Coalition Building.
We are excited that we will have our next Network Assembly in November of 2017!
In 2013, dozens of Roundtable organizations worked together to educate, advocate and organize on immigration reform and to improve the lives of immigrants at the local, national and international level. Read up-to-the-minute updates on our blog.
Victories at the Ballot Box
Roundtable organizations educated, organized and mobilized around the November 2016 election. We developed over 2500 new leaders, put on over 100 civic engagement events, and scheduled over 700 volunteer shifts.
We also mobilized in 2012 with some amazing results:
Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice helped pass Proposition 30 in California, a progressive tax increase to invest in schools, public safety and state infrastructure.
Jewish Community Action helped defeat constitutional amendments in Minnesota that would have banned same-sex marriage and require photo identification to vote.
Jews United for Justice helped pass Maryland ballot measures for marriage equality and the Dream Act, providing in-state tuition discounts to undocumented students.
National Council of Jewish Women helped defeat ballot measures in Florida that would have taken away reproductive health care for women and allowed for public funding of religious schools and programs.
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, in collaboration with immigrant rights groups, educated and mobilized immigrant voters in Chicago.
JCRC of Greater Boston, JCRC of Greater Detroit, Uri L’Tzedek and the National Council of Jewish Women in Pittsburgh educated hundreds of Jews on a range of social justice issues through candidate forums and events.
These successes - and more - were supported by the trainings and coaching from JOIN for Justice.
Click here to learn more about this important work.
Jewish Social Justice Briefings at the White House
In 2011 and 2012, Roundtable members from across the country visited the White House to strategize on housing, health care, food justice and education. After a series of policy briefings, we discussed issues of concern with senior advisers Valerie Jarrett, Jon Carson and Cecilia Munoz.
Social Justice Presence at the General Assembly
In partnership with the Jewish Federation of North America, the Roundtable organized social justice activities at the 2010 General Assembly in New Orleans.
60 Roundtable members led more than 1700 GA attendees in service learning projects throughout New Orleans.
Roundtable members organized two panels: “Elevating Social Justice from Inside the System” and “Funding Jewish Social Justice: Perspectives from Donors.”
We created and distributed “Praying with Our Legs,” a booklet highlighting stories of young Jews working for social justice.
First and Second Joint Civic Engagement Campaign
Define America 2010 was the first national coordinated voter outreach effort of its kind from the Jewish community. Jewish communities in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York registered voters, discussed issues, hosted candidate forums and helped people in communities with historically low voter turnout make it to the polls.
In 2016, 11 organizations worked to raise up issues of justice in the election. Through voter turnout, registration, and education - and ballot measure advocacy - they spoke with over 10,000 voters. In a tough election year, this is something to be proud of.