Light is Returning: Helen's IfNotNow Fundraising Page

Light is Returning: Helen's IfNotNow Fundraising Page

Goal thermometer

Dear New Jewish Agenda-nicks!

It's been a few months since we met at the NJA Reunion last spring. I want you to know that the connections we made and the stories we shared have been with me ever since - your work in Agenda to transform our Jewish communities has been a HUGE inspiration to me ever since we met. Though I haven't been in direct contact with each of you, I'm reaching out right now at a key moment for IfNotNow. As I'm sure you've been following, IfNotNow's fierceness, creativity, and vision feels a lot like the next iteration of NJA, and it's exciting!

Thank you for all of the ways over the past decades that you have each contributed to the momentum that we're experiencing now, without which IfNotNow wouldn't be where we are now! At this moment, we have an opportunity to grow and make a big impact, and I want you to be with us. Many of you asked about how to get involved and support IfNotNow. Here's how:

First, some context: For the past year, I’ve been involved with IfNotNow, a new movement led by young American Jews to end our community’s support for the occupation. IfNotNow is grounded in the belief that the safety of Jews- both in Israel and in the US- is inextricably linked to the dignity and freedom of Palestinians and, here in America, those communities that will be targeted by a Trump administration. We know that our alliance with other targeted groups is both the right choice for our security and to live out the values inherent in our tradition.

On his path to the White House, Donald Trump enjoyed a standing ovation at AIPAC from Jews who chose to support occupation at any cost, even if it meant normalizing Trump's Islamophobia and courting of white nationalists. IfNotNow was celebrating Purim outside of the AIPAC speech calling on our community to walk out and refuse to give Trump a platform. Since the election, hundreds of Jews are seeing what is at stake as anti-Jewish hate is on the rise, but the American Jewish establishment is busy celebrating Hanukkah at the Trump hotel. IfNotNow was in the streets demanding that these Jewish organizations come out against Stephen Bannon’s appointment as White House chief strategist. The latest nomination of David Friedman as ambassador to Israel underscores the dangerous times ahead and the need for powerful Jewish resistance. I know you know all of this, but it helps with the set-up!

Amidst the darkness, I have hope. IfNotNow has brought more than 2000 people into the streets under the banner of #JewishResistance.  You can see photos from our “Day of Jewish Resistance” in 30 cities here. IfNotNow has a smart strategy to turn this energy into larger and sustained action that includes everyone who wants to be a part of it. But we need the resource to make this possible.

Over the next few months, we will continue to build the #JewishResistance by mobilizing locally and across the nation. We want to train hundreds more people as leaders of IfNotNow, and bring thousands more into the streets in communities large and small.

However, we can’t make any of this happen without the support of our community. I have pledged to raise $500. I am asking friends and family to contribute around $25. Thank you for making a gift that is meaningful to you in this time. You can donate here.

I’d be happy to talk more about IfNotNow, the work we’re doing, and how you can plug in if you would like. Let me know when a good time to talk would be.

Sending you all blessings for warmth and connection, hope and compassion during this season and new year.

Happy Hanukkah, may our light be brighter together,

Helen

PS. Here's a recording of the Light is Returning song that we sang together at the Reunion, and that we sing in the movement! https://soundcloud.com/ifnotnow/light-is-returning-1 

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