Civic Engagement 2012

A packed house of National Council of Jewish Women-South Florida leaders focused on 2012 ballot amendments.
A packed house of National Council of Jewish Women-South Florida leaders focused on 2012 ballot amendments.

November 5, 2012

This is what it feels like to be part of a movement.

The day after the November 2012 election was a day our burgeoning Jewish social justice movement shared victories across the country. Our civic engagement campaign led up to the 2012 Presidential election, with a myriad of local and state initiatives. The campaign was a robust effort with an unprecedented level of collaboration in the field that resulted in significant victories across the country.

Take a moment and read each of the victories below. They were incredibly hard-fought and represent the passions and values of our community. As Simon Greer explains, "Jewish organizations thrive when they provide ways for the Jewish community to connect with a deeper purpose," such as social justice. The Jewish social justice victories of this week, and the unprecedented collaboration behind them, will invigorate and energize our movement.

  • 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 IDs 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 so many more! - were supported by the excellent trainings led by JOIN for Justice this past spring, and our talented coaches:

    • Meir Lakein, Director of Organizing and Karla van Praag, Executive Director of  JOIN for Justice

    • Nommi Nadich, Associate Director of Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

    • Vic Rosenthal, Executive Director of Jewish Community Action


Not only did we collaborate, build capacity together and leverage resources effectively, but November 2012’s victories also make America a more just, equitable place that reflects our values. May the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable go from strength to strength.