Where have we been, where are we going

In the last six months, I sold all my stuff and moved my family half way across the world. Got jobs, replaced the stuff, and settled in to take root in NJ. For me, NJ is where it all began. For my partner and son NJ means new beginnings and opportunities.

It’s no Mecca- but the holy land we left wasn’t feeling too holy either. Both of our homes lead by greedy, racist narcissists, surrounded by sycophants. In both of our lives we expend our energy in the name of the resistance, in hopes of leaving our children a kinder, more just society. These days we are not optimistic about either of these societies, but we are comforted by the way we raise our son, and lift up the people around us as much as possible.

Check out my Times of Israel blog for my latest thoughts and actions:

Be the ‘Righteous Gentile’

The days after awe, stay woke

This Jewish mother is dedicating her Yom Kippur to Kalief Browder

 

 

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networking works

I am a HUGE fan of networking, personally and organizationally. The success, for me, has been in finding the balance between creating bonds with people who share my passion for social change work and trying to get what I want- whether it was a job, donations or  volunteers. Sure, networking usually has an end goal but it isn’t selfish, at least I don’t believe it is. Facebook started of as a bunch of nerds trying to get laid, and I can’t blame them for that, but it also ended up connecting silenced activists living under dictatorships to the outside world. Unfortunately, hate groups and bullies unite through networking online, but so do civil rights groups and victims of abuse. Some of my closest friends started as “networks”- colleagues or mentors or clients- and I often network with my actual best friends today.

If networking is creating bonds and taking advantage of those bonds to further a cause or ourselves, then we owe it to ourselves to learn how and make it work for us! For organizations it is important to create a voice- a clear personality that is inviting, exciting and interesting that calls for others to join on and get active! I love social networking for the right cause because I enjoy creating the right character for the organization that represents its goals and its leaders– and helps it grow. The keys to creating online buzz is actively reaching out to the right people and organizations to get support, and offer mutual support, as well as creating interesting and maybe even controversial conversations. Connecting to relevant articles, video, media and music does not hurt– and neither does a sense of humor!

Let me know if I can help your organization develop its online presence and work that network!

I believe- my manifesto

I have always been an idealist, a believer. Here are the things I learned from my years of work in nonprofits and social change activism…

Integrity is crucial to social change:

  • Personal integrity: Direct communication, being true to expectations, deadlines and high standards
  • Honest public messages: Telling the true, full story- even when it might scare or upset the foundations we stand on. Uncertainty comes before change, it is a natural process.
  • Organizational transparency: Honoring organizers, donors and community members alike

I believe that we cannot fight for women’s rights without also working to close the gap on the rights of the Lesbian, Gay and Transgender community. I believe religious pluralism and women’s rights are cornerstones of Israeli democracy.  I reject racism in all forms and I believe that it is the responsibility of all who benefit from this system to change it.

I believe that as an activist for social change I am privileged to be able to transform theory to practice. I am honored to be able to promote values of equality, sustainability and tolerance- globally and locally.

Education

 I was fortunate enough to be one of the last years of women to be accepted and graduate from Douglass College– Rutgers University’s Women’s College. Douglass provided amazing opportunities and eye-opening experiences for me at a time when I was very impressionable. My deans and professors were brilliant, strong women who saw my potential and guided me, supported me and empowered me. They saw me, they believed in me and through them I began to believe in myself.

I studied Women and Gender Studies, graduating with Honors in 2004. I focused my studies on politics, policy and leadership, studying political theory, poverty, human rights, civil rights, and political leadership through a gendered lens.

I was a scholar with the Institute for Women’s Leadership, focusing on political social change. Years after I graduated as a scholar of IWL, I was asked to contribute to a book by Dr. Mary Trigg, Leading the Way: Young Women’s Activism for Social Change, published by Rutgers University Press. I am honored to have written a chapter in this fantastic book, along with my fellow scholars, the amazing, talented women who contributed to this important book.