Women’s March 2019 Ritual & Discussion Guide

Last week, a group of Jewish Women of Color — including long-time JFREJ leaders — led by Yavilah McCoy, with decades of demonstrated progressive political leadership and vast experience building multiracial, multifaith, cross-class coalitions to build power for the people, asked Jewish women to join them at the Women’s March this Saturday. JFREJ is heeding their call, in New York and Washington, DC.

If it is in keeping with your practice, please join us on Saturday. JFREJers will be in Washington, DC to join the Women’s March there and here at the Women’s March in NYC at Foley Square in New York City from 10am–2pm.

Here in New York, we will meet at 9:30am to share songs and prayers for Shabbat, led by Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and Rabbi Amichai Lau Lavie, before the rally begins at 10:00am. Our contingent will meet up at the southwest corner of Foley Square (at Lafayette Street and Duane Street).

However many Jews, including members of the JFREJ community, remain disappointed, angry, or just confused about the Women’s March and are choosing to skip the march, or attend events hosted by groups who are unaffiliated with the official Women’s March organization. In addition, some Jews don’t attend marches on Shabbat at all, regardless of how they feel about this one, and so may feel excluded from the outset.

For these reasons, members and staff at Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) decided to compile this ritual and discussion guide as an offering to our community. We do not believe that there is a simple, “right” response when antisemitism shows up in our social justice movements. But we do believe in staying committed to long-term organizing for racial and economic justice, especially when it gets hard.

We hope this guide is a source of reflection, healing and hope for the future we are all seeking, whether we are at home today, or in the streets. Even when we aren’t certain of the right answers, we can start by asking the right questions.

Onward,

Jonah Boyarin, Shoshana Brown, Leo Ferguson, Arielle Korman, Zahara Zahav
Women’s March Ritual & Discussion Guide Team