In the wake of this toxic election season and its deeply destabilizing outcome, many people have been scrambling for ways to react, to process and to organize. From this environment of confusion, many small Jewish grassroots efforts have sprung up, trying to find ways to understand and react to a new world — through the lens of Jewish practice and values.
One such effort, developed by Julie Aronowitz, Raphael Magarik and their pluralistic community, The Matriarchy, is a guide to mobilizing and organizing that draws on sources in Jewish ritual tradition. The guide (which can be found here) is offered as a resource anyone can feel free to use in their group or personal spiritual practice. It includes songs, prayers and passages from Jewish texts — as well as lists of progressive organizations, actions, personal and collective goals and organizational steps.
“The most important thing right now is to be creating circles of support and to act,” the Matriachy guide’s mission statement reads, “and to do so quickly. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. People are hungry for this now. Find a co-host and send out an invitation.”
This effort is one of many, part of a wider wave of identity-embracing activism and community building. From tradition-evoking efforts like these to Jewish-centered protest efforts like #JewishResistance and If Not Now, Jews across denominations — even, or perhaps especially, secular and non-practicing Jews — are coming out in huge numbers, and are coming out specifically as Jews, to process, to organize, and to act.
Ironically, it seems that Trump’s efforts to stoke bigotry and hatred have, in this case, only served to unify and mobilize.
Lana Adler is a Forward Summer Fellow working on opinion. Follow her on Twitter @Lana_Macondo