An Emerging Ecosystem
A Growing Field
Making a Difference
More than ever, Jews are showing up for racial justice, immigrant justice, workers’ rights, climate change, a new frame on Israel/Palestine, and more.
The 2016 election, Covid, and the 2020 summer uprising were pivotal moments that led to a shift in the Jewish social justice community. We are seeing an increasing appreciation for and application of the radical legacy of Jewish text, ritual, and Judaism's ethical obligation to mutual responsibility.
Rise Up grantees are shaping an inherently Jewish blueprint for leaders, activists, and citizens. They are illuminating new access points and creating structures born of a commitment to liberation, all in a deeply relational framework that enables a solidarity that transcends the traditional fault lines which often divide the Jewish community.
Streams of Work
Rise Up grantees are engaged in a variety of streams of work, including:
Leadership development rooted in spiritual, organizational, political, and emotional maturity. This means building capacities such as trust, vulnerability, the ability to sit in discomfort, and adaptive leadership. Grantees are developing skills in organizational development, fundraising, and strategy, as well as new approaches to ritual engagement.
Text and practice from the Jewish tradition, in an educational style that enables people to root in the depths of Torah, Talmud, contemplative practices like Mussar and embodiment. Ancient content is made relevant, immersing the student and holding them in a transformational way.
Arts and cultural work is reclaiming song, revitalizing Mizrahi and Sephardic culture from a feminist lens, and creating new liturgy based on Jewish holidays and existing prayer.
Communities rooted in liberation, including JOC-led communities, synagogues centering justice, and networks that build spiritual support for leaders forging new pathways.
Rise Up launched a much-needed documentation project to shed light on the expanding field of practitioners who are drawing from the wellspring of Jewish wisdom, practice, and tradition to strengthen Jewish social justice movement work. This research is co-sponsored by the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah and led by Tobin Belzer.
This research lifts up overarching themes and stories in order to illuminate:
The growing and diverse ecosystem of this work;
The impact the work is having on the Jewish social justice movement and Jewish life more generally; and
The role Rise Up and other funding institutions can play to expand the reach and potency.