In Response to the Tree of Life Shooting: A Statement from the CJJ Board

Carolina Jews for Justice leaders and members are heartbroken and shocked by the shooting that occurred this Shabbat at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. This is a moment of deep pain not only for that congregation’s immediate community, but for us, the entire Jewish people, and our country.
One traditional Jewish response to news of a death is “baruch dayan ha’emet,” directly translated as “blessed is the true judge.” While there are many ways to understand these words, tonight we lean into an interpretation that centers our human inability to process, to think, or to rationalize in a moment like this one. Our brains are overwhelmed, and our hearts are flooded with sadness. There are no words or prayers that will explain away this trauma, or heal it.
But at the same time, these traditional words call on us to judge this situation truthfully and clearly. This was an act of violent antisemitism and white supremacy, and that truth needs to be stated clearly. This feels personal, but is also part of the pattern of tragedies enacted by violent men with access to military weaponry. Unless as Jewish people and as a country we are willing to put serious work into combatting white nationalism and toxic masculinity, while also working for comprehensive gun control, we know that we will see moments like these again.  
The shooter today hoped to put an end to our people’s long history of welcoming refugees and caring for the disenfranchised members of our communities. Instead of being scared from this work, we call on our fellow Jews to hold each other in this moment of mourning, and then join us in recommitting to the pursuit of justice.

CJJ Opposes All Six Proposed Amendments to the NC Constitution

Carolina Jews for Justice joins progressive partners across the state in opposing the six proposed amendments to the state constitution, to be voted on in 2018. In addition to each amendment’s individual flaws, the lack of education and transparency leading up to the vote goes against our core value of democratic rights. Changes to our constitution should be preceded by widespread public education with a thorough explanation of the reasoning behind each amendment. Though the full text of these amendments is available publicly, when voters enter the polls they will see only summaries written by our General Assembly representatives, summaries that clearly encourage a vote for the amendments. Among Maimonides seven qualities of leadership are humility and honesty. Yet our General Assembly has the chutzpah to try and fool the public with the dishonest summaries that will appear on the ballot. Even if we agreed with the reasoning behind these amendments, our Jewish and democratic values would compel us to oppose the limited education and explanation surrounding this vote.

Raising Wages NC Campaign To Date

Carolina Jews for Justice is a proud supporter of Raising Wages NC, an organization dedicated to raising the minimum wages for North Carolinians to a livable standard. 

CJJ also works Orange and Durham County Living Wage groups, which certify businesses who meet the standards set forth by their org, namely: 

  • To reward and recognize employers based in Orange and Durham County who pay their workers a living wage

  • Provide employers with incentives to pay a living wage

  • Connect consumers to employers that provide a living wage & encourage them to become customers, patients, clients of those businesses and organizations.

CJJ has sponsored or hosted several events relating to fair wages over the last year. Included below are photos from events in Asheville and Durham.

NC Rabbis Call for Immigration Justice

Inspired by the experience of the Jewish people throughout history and confirmed by the Torah’s repeated commandments to protect the immigrant, we rabbis of North Carolina, along with Carolina Jews for Justice, call upon the United States government to uphold the highest ideals of our democracy and the founding principles of our nation.

House Bill 2 aka "The Bathroom Bill"

In 2016, the North Carolina Legislature passed a bill known nationwide as NC's "bathroom bill"-which specified that individuals must use public bathrooms labeled in accordance with the gender specified on their birth certificate.

Pushback was swift and immediate. The bill sought to undermine the rights of trans individuals, as well as give conservative political interests a strong foothold in  the state. Alongside many other progressive organizations, Carolina Jews for Justice stood firmly against the bill from its inception.

Some examples of the work Carolina Jews for Justice put in toward the repeal of HB2 include:

Lavender Seder 2018

Welcome to CJJ's #LavenderSeder2018! Because March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) and Pesach (Passover), we've created this resource to help you discuss transgender issues at your seder table. Below, you'll find some fun facts about the intersection between trans issues and Pesach, a video interview with Jewish leaders in the trans community, and a discussion guide. 

CJJ participates in the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. You can check out the Passover Resources Roundup here.