J is for Justice

J is for Justice

an excerpt from the JCC Winter 2020 Journal

“Justice, justice shall you pursue.”

In the everyday occurrences on display during a walk through the JCC – here in Whitefish Bay or anywhere throughout our service areas in Wisconsin – it’s easy to miss how these small moments of community might actually be justice in action. Though every day at the J can be demonstrably different (and every season brings with it a change in programs, services, and activities) if you look closely enough, you see that tzedek – justice – is active throughout your JCC.

It’s easy to define justice in the common language of today; ‘social justice’ is a term that reached the public consciousness in the not too distant past. Under that definition, as we seek to build a world where there is equal access to basic human rights and dignity, it’s equally easy to find the work of the JCC. Surely, it happens on the corner of 29th and Center, where the Jewish Community Pantry has – for decades – sought to eradicate hunger with respect and values. It’s a communal response to hunger, a demonstration of our belief that no child should ever go hungry, and no adult should ever have to be confronted with that choice. With your support, we will continue to run the Jewish Community Pantry until the need is met, until that day comes when community hunger is a thing of the past.

A truly just world recognizes that basic human needs extend beyond survival, and we’ll continue to partner with exceptional community organizations that work tirelessly to combat poverty, homelessness, inequality, violence, and intolerance.

How else can we, as a community, work together to build a more just Milwaukee?

We can work on educating our youngest learners, in formal settings and beyond, and bring to them all the resources available for lifelong success. We do that in Gan Ami Early Childhood Education, Kids Center Before and After School, tutoring programs, and throughout our family programs.

We can work on bringing youth and teens together, from diverse backgrounds and places, and provide them the joys of childhood – and the training for adulthood – in our camps in Fredonia, Eagle River, and throughout Metro Milwaukee. We can acknowledge that being a kid is hard, and it’s our job to make it last.

We can work on being a community where all people, of all abilities and means, have an opportunity to learn, grow, and share. In our work with Inclusion and Special Needs, we learn about our best natures and the world around us.

We can work on building healthy hearts – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That a good workout doesn’t come at the exclusion of a good community.

We can work on welcoming all voices, of all ages and beliefs, in meaningful conversations and experiences. In recognizing that a performance, a book reading, an exhibition, or a speaker series is more than just an evening of entertainment – it’s an invitation to connect and consider.

We can work on making everything we do, in moments both large and small, a moment of justice. And we can do that work through your support of the JCC’s Scholarship Campaign, which will empower even more children, adults, and families to access the programs and services of the JCC. Thank you for your consideration and investment.

We can work on this together because, when we do, we’re at our best.

Click here to support the JCC Scholarship Campaign