When there is no vision, the people perish — Proverbs 29:18
This was a special year. The start of a new decade. Its double-digits, 20/20, symbolized a time of perfect vision. As we enter the seventh month of 2020, the symbolism has become a reality. The year began with an impeachment that wasn’t, followed by a self-congratulatory State of the Union address, followed by a bungled response to a pandemic that has killed over 130,000 Americans, culminating in the brutal murders of so many people including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and state-sanctioned violence directed at Black and Brown people. There’s no question that in the year of perfect vision many people have had their eyes opened and they are not happy with what they have seen.
It is in this environment that the work of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Long Island has become more important than ever. The chapter has helped to achieve a more just world through its various activities —pressure campaigns aimed at key politicians, electoral work, community meetings, and educational programs. We know there is still much work to be done. We also know that, working together, we can make our vision of justice a reality.
Jeff — Editor, [email protected]
Phyllis — Co-Editor
Matthew — Co-Editor
Join Us! Upcoming In-Person & "Virtual" Meetings
Jews for Black Lives: Tisha B'Av Ritual Action
WHEN: Wednesday, July 29, 6:00PM
WHERE: Mineola, NY — exact location to be announced soon. Masks will be required and social distancing observed.
August Virtual Community Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday, August 19, 7-8:30PM RSVP here for the Zoom link
Understanding White Supremacy and Anti-Black Racism
You cannot confront a problem until you understand it. With that in mind, our chapter held two virtual education sessions that examined white supremacy, white nationalism and anti-black racism. The goal of the first session, held June 7, was to develop a common analysis and language that could help in the dismantling of those systems of oppression. Participants learned how white supremacy was foundational for the United States, politically, economically and socially, and what the consequences have been. A brief time was set aside for participants to reflect on their own racial identity and how a new way of thinking about that identity could inform their work with Bend the Arc and its quest for a multiracial democracy and economy.
The second session was supposed to be a discussion of antisemitism. However, after the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed, the aim was shifted to a focus on anti-black racism and the need to be actively anti-racist. To further that aim, our chapter will begin partnering with New York Communities of Change (NYCC) in their ongoing fight to end racist policies on Long Island.