Standing Together organizers protest for “Minimum 40,” a minimum wage campaign in Israel.
I don’t write or say much about what’s happening in Israel because frankly, there’s plenty of local news of concern happening to keep us busy. That said, as I’ve written about before, it’s a place I have deep roots and care about very much. And I’m worried. Like many of you, I’ve been worried for a long time, but recently, the news coming out of Israel-Palestine has been heartbreaking and infuriating. I read the news, often shaking my head in disbelief, wondering if there’s anything I can do to make a difference.
The answer is yes, there is a way we can make a difference: support the people on the ground in Israel fighting for things to be different. I am supporting Standing Together, Israel’s largest Jewish-Arab grassroots political movement, and I hope you’ll join me.
Standing Together is a movement hundreds-of-thousands strong in Israel, working to build a shared future between all who live there — Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, young and old, people who have lived there for generations and new immigrants — creating a window of shared struggle and hope. I’m incredibly inspired by their work, and I hope you’ll join me in supporting them. From over here, I feel it’s the least I can do! And I sure like taking a proactive step toward something constructive, better than wringing my hands over all the negatives and things beyond my control.
Standing Together’s work is unique. As you might have heard my friends and movement leaders Sally Abed and Alon Lee Green share when they came to Chicago last year, Standing Together doesn’t focus on just one issue but rather sees every threat facing Israeli society – from income inequality to climate change to systemic racism — as deeply intertwined. They’re using this strategy to mobilize diverse communities to fight for their shared interests and build a new majority through unlikely alliances. Notice the “Minimum 40” picture included here– one of their most successful campaigns so far has been gathering all the people who work for minimum wage (which includes Chardi women, immigrants from Sudan, and Palestinian Israeli teenagers) toward the shared goal of raising the minimum wage. Through working together and in the presence of their differences, Standing Together is helping Palestinians and Jewish Israelis find their shared interests and create a country that all can share and feel at home in.
But to grow their movement, they need our help. I’m proud to serve as a Standing Together ambassador for their latest crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to a generous supporter, every donation this month will be 100% matched. I’ve set a modest goal of raising $1,000 but I’m hoping to greatly exceed my goal! Will you consider making a donation?
As always I’m happy to talk to you more about why we should not give up or divest from Israel, but rather invest in the people doing the hard work every day on the ground of building an Israel and Palestine we are proud of.
Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann