For 27 years, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) has pursued racial and economic justice in New York City by advancing systemic changes that result in concrete improvements in people’s everyday lives. We are inspired by Jewish tradition to fight for a sustainable world with an equitable distribution of economic and cultural resources and political power.
The movement to dismantle racism and economic exploitation will be led by those most directly targeted by oppression. We believe that Jews have a vital role to play in this movement. The future we hope for depends on Jews forging deep and lasting ties with our partners in struggle.
Over the past 25 years, JFREJ has had considerable impact on the social justice landscape of New York City. In 1999, we worked with the Coalition Against Police Brutality to fight for increased levels of accountability, a Civilian Police Review Board with real power, and in opposition to the racist tactics of the New York City Police. JFREJ members were a strong Jewish presence at rallies, marches, hearings, and in the media and were instrumental in winning more power for the Review Board and forcing then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to address police brutality in a serious way.
In 2000, we joined the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in the fight against the privatization of New York schools by the Edison Corporation and were successful in stopping the transfer of public schools to private corporate control.
From 2000 to 2003, JFREJ teamed up with the Latin American Workers Project to support Mexican and Central American workers’ efforts to win back wages and over-time pay at the Tuv Taam factory in Brooklyn. In 2003, the New York Attorney General awarded a million-dollar settlement on behalf of the Tuv Taam workers.
From 2002 to 2010, JFREJ turned out in force to support Domestic Workers United, organizing domestic employers to fight side-by-side with domestic workers for basic worker rights. JFREJ and DWU successfully passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in the New York City Council, the first bill of its kind to pass in the country, and then went on to win the New York State Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in 2010 – the first state-wide legislation in the United States to provide labor protections for domestic workers.
In 2013, JFREJ’s Campaign for Police Accountability played an active role in the major political realignment of New York’s conversation about discriminatory policing. Working as part of the Communities United for Police Reform coalition, JFREJ worked hard for passage of the Community Safety Act and advocated in support of the Floyd case in the courts. Together, the Floyd decision and the CSA have had a major impact on policing in NYC. 2014 and 2015 JFREJ brought the Jewish community into the streets in conjunction with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, staging or participating in major actions that received national coverage.
Amanda Altman, Education Director & Leadership Development Coordinator
Leo Ferguson, Movement Building Organizer
Ethan Heitner, Administrative Coordinator
Rachel McCullough, Director of Organizing
Nikki Morse, Director of Development
Mackenzie Reynolds, Rabbinic Organizer
Julia Carmel Salazar, Community Organizer & Communications Coordinator
Audrey Sasson, Executive Director
Keren Soffer Sharon, Community Organizer
Zahara Zahav, Community Organizer
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The JFREJ Rabbinic Council
Congregations and organizations are listed for identification purposes only.
We are grateful to all of our members and supporters, including:
Andrus Family Fund
Left Tilt Fund
Lucius L. Littauer Foundation
Jewish Social Change Matching Fund
Jewish Women’s Foundation of New York
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
North Star Fund
Tikva Grassroots Fund