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Jewish Voice for Peace Organizing Newsletter Sept 2011

Jewish Voice for Peace Organizing Newsletter Sept 2011

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Published by JewishVoiceforPeace
The occasional newsletter of the Organizing Program at Jewish Voice for Peace- www.jvp.org
The occasional newsletter of the Organizing Program at Jewish Voice for Peace- www.jvp.org

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Published by: JewishVoiceforPeace on Sep 12, 2011
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09/12/2011

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JVP ORGANIZING
JVP Organizing Newsletter 
1
A quarterly-ish collection of reports, inspiration, and reflections about the fabulous activists and organizing within Jewish Voice for Peace
The Jewish Voice for Peace-Community Center (JVP-CC)!
The educational &community-buildinghome of our organizingprogram.
Page 1
Elul Flipbook 
Read all about the Elul flipbook created by a JVP rabbinical councilmember out of words &images from JVPmembers.
Page 3
A Quarterly Report
Issue 3: September 2011Working & Dancing:The First Regional LDI
A must-read reflection from Badia Ead, aparticipant at the Midwest LeadershipDevelopment Institute!
Page 2
Organizer Reflection
An honest reflection of a new organizer inPhilly stepping forwardto lead their July 19thaction.
Page 5-6
July 19th Actions
A round-up of thesuccessful national dayof action targetingTIAA-CREF
Page 4
CDI Reportback 
A reportback from aparticipant in the JVPChapter DevelopmentInstitute.
Page 6
We imagine coming together to
 
celebrate the unique beauty of diverse Jewishcommunities, history, and
 
culture while at the same time being a
 
place to spark our connection to
 
 broader struggles for justice. We dream of Jewishcommunities
 
where we build connections with each other, educate ourselves,and strive for
 
a better world.It turns out, that is exactly what we are doing
 
here at JVP!
 
A central value of the organizing program at JVP is that the best organizinghappens when we deepen our relationships to each other and ourunderstandings of the issues. As we listen to each others voices and
 
ideas onconference calls, share
 
knowledge and deepen political understanding in studygroups, transform ritual into political education, or
 
gather together in-person fora
 
regional leadership retreat or
 
campaign strategy session—when we
 
 buildcommunity and share political education—we are creating a
 
new kind of Jewishcommunity center--
 
the JVP-CC.
 
The JVP-CC is the home for the educational and community-building work of our organizing program. Open to Jewsand non-Jews alike, the JVP-CC is a sometimes virtual,
 
sometimes physical space where we deepen our connection toeach other and our
 
support for Palestinian liberation & self-
 
determination.
 
Download thecatalog herewhere you will find details on:Institutes: Regional Leadership Development Institutes, Chapter Development InstitutesPolitical analysis workshops, book groups, and education sessionsNational Workgroups: Tech Team, Welcoming Committee, Safety TrainingOnline Community
 
jcc
 
JVP ORGANIZING NEWSLETTER2
JVP Organizing Newsletter 
 
When the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee (STL-PSC) asked me andanother member of the group if we’d be interested in attending a gathering that Jewish Voice for Peace was hosting in late July, I wondered what a couple of Palestinian girls could possibly gain from that experience. I was sure JVP didn’thave the two of us in mind when they were asking the group to sendrepresentatives.We flew to St. Paul, Minnesota for the Leadership Development Institute (LDI)with, quite honestly, a little apprehension, wondering how well we’d fit in. Thegoal of going back to St. Louis with a solid, local plan of action against TIAA-CREF weighed heavily on our shoulders. But, honestly, the whole idea of Palestinians attending JVP gave us pause. Would the group accept us? Would wefeel comfortable? Would the two of us being Palestinian make themuncomfortable?From the get-go, there were so many individuals who went out of their way tomake us feel welcome. In fact, the whole weekend felt like one big reunion, eventhough I had never met any of the other attendees before. I had a chance to speak with every single person while I was there. I heard their stories about how theycame to openly oppose the occupation and support BDS, even at the cost of many relationships within their communities and even their own families. Theywillingly listened to my perspective as a Palestinian.For my particular group, every day was filled with meetings that informed usand ultimately empowered us to return to our cities with concrete plans onchanging TIAA-CREF into an organization that would divest from Israel’s illegaloccupation. My initial apprehension vanished with this realization, and at theimmediate ease I felt with my LDI comrades. By the second night, after the day’swork had ended, we even transformed a meeting room into a miniature danceparty. As Michael Jackson, the Spice Girls and, yes, even ABBA blasted, wedanced and laughed as if we had known each other our whole lives.The final day arrived and I was confident with the alliance I had made with JVP-one I had been determined to make. But it was the effortless friendships I hadgained that caught me off guard. When my fellow STL-PSC member and I got upto leave for the airport, I was moved by the number of people who interruptedthe group session to get up and hug us goodbye. It was exciting to go back to St.Louis with a TIAA-CREF plan. But it was equally exciting to know I’d metindividuals who were fighting for justice and that these individuals would belifelong friends. Needless to say, I look forward to working -- and dancing -- withmy friends again.
-Badia Ead, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee
The next Regional LeadershipDevelopment Institute will be:
Pacific Northwest/Northern CaliforniaRegion
January 27-29, 2012Portland, Oregon
Sessions at the LDI include:-messaging & communications-preparing for the organizedopposition-grassroots organizing skills-chapter-building strategies-anti-oppression analysis-campaign strategy setting-BDS movement-storytelling for political actionFor more info:alissa@jvp.org
 
JVP ORGANIZING NEWSLETTERJVP Organizing Newsletter 
3
Dearest JVP community,I have createda thing I’ve been calling the “flipbook,”* which has nothing on the
 
surface to do with theupcoming UN vote on the establishment of a Palestinian state.
 
But the idea for it got thought-of while someof us on the JVP Rabbinic Cabinet were talking together about how JVP will address the UN vote and whatwe rabbis might offer in support.It seems that the UN vote on the establishment of a Palestinian state may happen
 
during the Jewish monthof Elul (August 30-Sept. 28 this year.)
 
Elul, which is the last month of the Jewish year before Rosh Hashana,is dedicated to heightened
teshuvah
-- turning, returning, repenting, remembering the core of who we are.It’s a time to revitalize our core values and passions, as individuals and as a community.
 
I love Elul.
 
I was thinking that, while JVP, and the world, figures out how to relate to whatever happens at the UN inthe days to come, it might be a good time to try to recall what brings us all together as a Jewish Voice forPeace.
 
Sometimes it’s possible to get bogged down in the politics and positions.
 
Maybe there are a fewpeople out there who could jog our memories of what it’s all about.
 
Something like that.So I put out a call to JVP members for any photos, writings and so on which come from your ownwitnessing of life in the occupied territories.
 
And I was blown away by what came back to me -- by thesheer amount, by the intensity of your words and images, by your generosity in sharing them.
 
So first of all, thank you,
todah rabbah
 ,
shukran
.
 
I didn’t use nearly all I received.
 
And there’s a lot more out there inour various hard-drives.
 
I apologize for all mistakes!
 
Mine and mine alone.As I’ve put this together, I’ve seen parts of Palestinian life than I hadn’t known before.
 
And Ialso saw that others of you have walked where Ihave walked and seen what I’ve seen, each fromour own perspective.
 
I’ve realized that we share apassionate knowledge, gained from our own andeach other’s spirit of inquiry, which gives greatstrength to our advocacy and to our life together.
 
I hope that together we inch closer to peace and justice in the new year.- Rabbi Margaret Holub, for the JVP RabbinicCouncil
Great thanks to:
Stefan Lynch, Rebecca Arian,Avital Aboody, Shachaf Polakow, Rich Forer, DianeTracht, Carl Zaisser , Rachel Greene, Vincent Stravino,Bob Bobic aka Cap Dad, Lois Pearlman, GersonRobboy , Alice Rothchild, Andrew Miller, Jean Carr,David Chadwick, Susannah Nachenber, Liza Behrendt & GlenHauer
Some thoughts about how to use the flipbook*
 There are 29 pages, corresponding to the 29 days of Elul.
 
 You mightlook at one a day and let that day’s images or story travel with youthrough the day.
 
Or you might glance through it all and return to thewords and images that call for your further attention.
 
 You might ask yourself, as you read:~ What of what I see here do I already know?
 
How do I know it?~ What surprises me?
 
What especially disturbs me?~ What would I like to know more about?~ What kind of “voices” speak most clearly to me?
 
What is hard to“listen” to?~ Does any of this affect how I will be or what I will do in the newyear?*Flipbook-- one of those little cartoon books where you flip the pagesto see still images come to life.

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