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Our Mission

We are a grassroots network committed to creating a just, fair and compassionate North Carolina. 

We build relationships where people help each other because individuals have a profound responsibility for the well-being of the whole.

Founded in March 2013, Carolina Jews for Justice combines advocacy and education to organize a non-partisan Jewish voice in North Carolina. We work to influence policy at the local and state levels and encourage individuals and Jewish institutions to take a stand on important issues in our community.

 

Our Statement of principles

Our Torah is a record of the attempt to develop a just way of life, not only for the individual but for society. Rabbinic commentaries, which have guided the lives of Jewish communities for centuries, speak not only about the relationship between humans and the Divine, but between humans and their neighbors: rich and poor, citizen and stranger, the powerful and those lacking in power.

Carolina Jews for Justice provides an opportunity for Jews to carry out these ideals through participation in the public arena in North Carolina. To accomplish this, we operate under the following core principles:

  1. B’tzelem Elohim (In the image of G-d): Judaism teaches us that all human beings are created in the Divine image and as such should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of physical, philosophical, political or cultural characteristics which make them different from ourselves. Commandments concerning the “stranger” are among the most frequent in our Torah. They require us to put ourselves in the position of others, and to protect their fundamental rights and dignity as carefully as we protect our own.

  1. V’ahavta L’reacha Kamocha (Love your neighbor as yourself): The great freedom we have in America is to be cherished — but freedom does not relieve us of responsibility for our neighbors. Across eras and denominations, Jewish religious thought has viewed caring for every person as a non-negotiable obligation to all. We reject the ethic that views our economy and our society as a contest in which everyone is responsible only for themselves.

  1. Tikkun Olam (Repairing the world): Judaism teaches us that the world has always been a work in progress. It compels us to see the world with all its faults. As partners in creation, we have a duty to repair the world — through the protection of our environment, the care and education of our children, and the elimination of poverty and oppression.

  1. Kehillah (Community): CJJ is called as an organization to be political, but not partisan. We focus on issues and not candidates or labels. We emphasize the areas in which we can have the most impact. We ally ourselves with other groups and individuals whenever we agree, and seek respect and mutual understanding when we do not. We strive to listen to minority viewpoints and to treat everyone with respect.

We build relationships where people help each other because individuals have a profound responsibility for the well-being of the whole.


Why Doesn’t CJJ Advocate a Position on Israel and Palestine?

We at Carolina Jews for Justice organize in the Jewish tradition of “doykait” or “hereness;” we take responsibility for the wellness of the communities in which we live. We believe that it is important for us to have a space, as a North Carolina Jewish community, to work together on urgent matters of justice here in our home even as we hold varying beliefs on Israel and Palestine.

We organize on issues that enable us to have the greatest impact on the conditions of our state, communities, and neighbors. We see the American Jewish community as an important, permanent part of this country’s social justice fabric. North Carolina is our home, and we want to see our Jewish community raise a loud call for tzedek (justice) on our doorstep.

We do not draw lines in the sand excluding people from our community based on their international political positions, nor do we apply litmus tests on who we will or will not organize with. We do not believe that we have to agree with each other or with our allies on everything in order to work together. We seek to be inclusive because we need every one of us to build the change needed here in North Carolina.

The purpose of these policies is to magnify our collective voice, to enable us to offer an activist home to all who are committed to working on issues of social justice here in North Carolina from a grounding in our Jewish values.  We invite you to join us in this holy work.