CJJ West

Carolina Jews for Justice West chapter is based in the Asheville area. We'd love to organize with you! You can contact CJJ West directly by emailing Judy Leavitt or Frank Goldsmith.

Meet and Greet with CJJ State Organizers

On Nov. 14, the local CJJ-West chapter hosted a gathering at Congregation Beth Ha Tephila in Asheville to introduce the new state organizers, Cole Parke and Brandon Monde to the CJJ-W steering committee and some of their partners from the wider community. Roughly 25 people, including representatives and leaders of non-profit and social justice ally groups as well as Jewish organizations, met and shared stories about their passions and common interests in doing the hard work of “tikkun olam”.

Cole and Brandon shared their three primary goals for CJJ as follows: leadership development, political education with an emphasis on intersectionality and community nourishment. It was an inspiring opportunity to make new and/or fortify existing connections with a variety of folks.

Public Community Interfaith Vigil

The Asheville community turned out in exceptional numbers to honor the victims of the horrific anti-semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, as well as the tragic racially motivated murders of two African-Americans days earlier in Kentucky. Rabbi Justin Goldstein from Congregation Beth Israel led the service, saying that in the Jewish faith, "In the face of hate, we love," and telling the crowd their presence brings a light into the darkness. Local musicians led the large crowd in songs, many in Hebrew. Mayor Esther Manheimer spoke of the need to not normalize this kind of violent hatred. "This new normal we live in is not OK,” she said to applause from the crowd. "In Asheville we’re a community that stands for love, kindness and compassion. And we call on all people and all leaders to denounce hate speech and acts of violence."

At the end of the vigil Rabbi Goldstein invited all ordained clergy in the audience to join him onstage, and the number of people who came up was enormous and surprising, even to him. It is a beautiful thing to stand together with this kind of community against hatred and violence. 10.28.2018


Hard Lox

There was a lot of interest in learning more about CJJ at Hard Lox, Asheville’s Jewish Food and Heritage Festival, attended by people from all over the state and beyond. 10.14.2018

Rally for $15

Members of CJJ/West participated in the rally on July 24th sponsored by Just Economics in support of raising the minimum wage to $15. 

Judy and Frank at JE rally 7.24.jpg
Economic Justice rally 7.24.18.jpg
Vicki and Amy.jpg

Did you know that the $7.25 federal minimum wage went into effect in 2009 and has not been raised since?

In 1968, the high point of the federal minimum wage in inflation-adjusted terms, the minimum wage was equal to roughly $10 an hour in today’s dollars. This means that minimum wage workers today are paid between a quarter and a third less than what similar jobs paid almost 50 years ago, depending on how you measure inflation*. Hear from area low wage workers joining the fight for living wages and NC legislators who have co-sponsored a bill to raise the state-wide minimum wage. Folks will be on hand from the Raising Wages Campaign WNC to tell you ways that you can get involved in the campaign and celebrate living wage certified employers here in our community through Just Economics living wage certification program. For more information about the Raising Wages NC campaign, go here. To learn more about work happening locally to raise wages, visit Just Economics WNC.

March for Our Lives

CJJ West participated in Asheville's own March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24, 2018. We were heartened to see such a tremendous community turnout and to hear from so many inspiring, committed young people at this demonstration in support of tighter gun control.

CJJ West March for Our Lives 3:18 Photo2.jpg
CJJ West March for Our Lives 3:18 Photo1.jpg

State Senator Terry Van Duyn is pictured (right) speaking Ron Katz and CJJ/W members and friends at the rally.