A few months ago, I helped found IfNotNow New Orleans. I’m not from New Orleans, but I’ve called this place home for 3 years and I love my Jewish community here. It’s why I started a chapter here — to transform my Jewish community, the one I attend temple in, teach hebrew school in, plan shabbats in, into one that stands for freedom and justice for all people.
I didn’t know when I joined IfNotNow that this year would see the deadliest anti-semitic attack in our country’s history. I didn’t know how the dearth of knowledge about what anti-semitism is and how it operates would be so starkly exposed.
After the attack in Pittsburgh, Steve Scalise, a Republican congressperson spoke at one of our temples’ vigils, even though he’s admitted to attending white supremacist events. It hurt to see my community in such fear that we allowed someone who enables white nationalists to speak on our behalf. My community desperately needed a change.
That’s why myself, along with IfNotNow chapters across North America — from New Orleans to the Bay Area to Pittsburgh to Boston — have hosted anti-semitism trainings for Jews and allies to learn about how anti-semitism upholds white nationalism and creates a culture of fear that leads to our community to support the Occupation.
This work is more critical now than ever. And we need your support to keep doing the kinds of mass education necessary for our liberation.
Most of what the public sees from IfNotNow are protests in the streets, but trainings like these are core to how our movement can thrive and learn together.
I want to take a minute to tell you what goes into these trainings. First, volunteers practice facilitating the training at least 3 times. Then, we need to secure a space for the training. Once that’s settled, we buy the coffee (very crucial), the snacks, and the butcher paper.It’s a surprising amount of work — but so worth it.
This being my first time leading an IfNotNow training, I didn’t realize how transformative it would be. When one of the participants told me afterwards, ‘This is the analysis I’ve been looking for! One that’s compassionate and holds our community accountable’, I felt my community and I start to heal.
Your contribution today allows to keep doing this transformative, healing work that our community so desperately needs. Will you contribute $18 to support more mass trainings about antisemitism and white nationalism in 2019?
Check out these photos from some of the other antisemitism trainings that have happened in the last month.
If everyone who read this blog donated just $3, we’d hit our ambitious goal of raising $150,000 by the end of 2018 so that we could host even more trainings on antisemitism and the Occupation in 2019.
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IfNotNow New Orleans Trainer