Jews United for Justice advances economic, racial, and social justice in the Baltimore-Washington region by educating and mobilizing our local Jewish communities to action.
We move our region closer to equity and justice by advancing issue-based campaigns that make real, immediate, and concrete improvements in people’s lives and build the power of working-class and poor communities of color. Through these campaigns we develop leaders, build our Jewish grassroots community, shift the consciousness of our community, and build the collective power needed to undo systemic racism and inequality.
One day, everyone in the Washington-Baltimore region will have what they need to live and thrive, and a real voice in democracy, no matter the color of their skin, where they are from, or how much money they have. Our government will focus on equity and justice, and will respond to the needs of poor and working people, whether Black, brown, or white, who had once been systemically barred from resources and power. We work so that our Jewish community is a proud and valued partner in bringing about that day through multiracial, multifaith, cross-class movements working for social, racial, and economic justice.
Impact that advances equity
We are deeply committed to addressing the social, racial, and economic inequity in our region. That commitment drives our strategy and our campaigns to make real, immediate, and concrete improvements in people’s lives and to change the rules of our democracy so it lives up to its promise.
Relationships – among staff, volunteer leaders, partners, elected officials – are at the center of our work. We focus time and attention on striving to build relationships characterized by meaningful and authentic connection, trust, mutual respect, and understanding. These relationships are the foundation for the teamwork, partnerships, and community that power and sustain our work. They also help us learn and grow, providing a space for us to receive and share hard but important feedback when something isn’t going right.
We are committed to the integrity – honesty, humility, reliability, responsibility, and respect – that is central to building the trust and relationships that drive our work. We know that every action we take is an opportunity to act with integrity and further deepen the trust we’ve built, but also that integrity can be damaged in a careless moment. We commit ourselves to integrity while knowing that we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world that requires compromises, and that we will continue to learn and grow.
Balancing the Prophetic with the Pragmatic
We are clear-eyed about the political and strategic realities around us, and we balance that with our vision and hope for the world we want to create. We make strategic and sometimes difficult choices to focus our work on efforts that have a real chance to succeed and on areas where we can make the greatest impact.
Rooted in Judaism, Place, and Hope
As we advance our work, we find strength, focus, and resilience in:
- Judaism: This includes the myriad religious, cultural, ethical, historical, community, family, and other experiences of Jewishness that ground and connect us to each other and to our traditions.
- Place: The different communities in which we work have varied histories, political and organizational ecosystems, communities, strengths, and challenges. Though we seek opportunities to link our work across the whole region, we prioritize campaigns and strategies that are right for each of our individual jurisdictions.
- Hope: Hope is a Jewish value. Organizing out of hope invites our communities into this work and offers us the strength and resilience we need to continue fighting for the world as it should be. We believe that change is possible and we act on that conviction.
Why doesn’t JUFJ work on Israel and Palestine?
JUFJ’s mission is to advance economic, racial, and social justice in the Baltimore-Washington region by educating and mobilizing our local Jewish communities to action. People come to JUFJ for this local work, where Jewish communities and allies can come together to build power and win real, immediate, and concrete improvements in people’s lives in this region. Because of the local scope of our work, JUFJ does not take any position or work on Israel and Palestine, or any other foreign policy or international issue.
While JUFJ does not work on Israel and Palestine, within the JUFJ community you will find people who hold a wide variety of beliefs, perspectives, and experiences related to Israel and Palestine. You will also find people who have no formed opinion or perspective. It is our strong belief that, in organizing and coalition building, we do not need to agree with each other, or with our allies, on all issues — including this one — in order to make the changes needed in this region. We value everyone’s participation in our local work for justice, and we do not exclude people from our organization based on their perspective or ideology on this issue.
We know that many people in the JUFJ community feel called to work on Israel and Palestine. There are many organizations in our region and nationally whose organizational missions are focused on peace, justice, equality, and safety for Palestinians and Israelis, and many JUFJ community members and staff are involved with these groups.