"Don’t despair. Mobilize." Swing Left
“It’s important that people press from the outside. It’s important that people are able to make change from the inside. Both of those things are important. Protest is fundamentally a political act.” Deray McKesson
Lots of CSS announcements this week
Host or Co-Host a Voces fundraiser event
CSS is gearing up to raise money again for Voces de la Frontera. The events will be coordinated for this fall. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about hosting an event or supporting these events or know someone that might be interested.
July 12: Discussion on Social Justice Organizing — Reflections on Traveling to El Salvador
At 7:00 p.m. at the home of Melanie Herzog and Norm Stockwell, 401 Elmside Blvd. Rabbi Laurie recently returned from El Salvador with the Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project, and based on her experiences she will lead a discussion on social justice organizing. Part of the discussion will be about immigration, but the main focus will be discussing the more complex questions of organizing in solidarity with other communities. In particular, she will draw on the book Conflicted Commitments: Race, Privilege, and Power in Solidarity Activism by Gada Mahrouse.
July 21: Serve a Meal with Friends of the State Street Family
Saturday from 11:50 to 1:00 at the Beacon on E Washington Ave., CSS members and friends of Shaarei Shamayim will prepare and serve a meal to Madison’s homeless community. You can help out by serving the meal, making food ahead of time or both. Being involved with this is a wonderful group project for friends, families, or havurot. See more information and sign up here. Anika Derby will be coordinating this month’s FSSF for her bat mitzvah project so please contact her with any questions or concerns you may have at 608-320-7112.
July 22: Supporting Immigrant Rights: A Discussion with the Community Immigration Law Center
From 12:30-2:00 p.m. at First Unitarian Society. As part of the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, Shaarei Shamayim has worked closely with the First Unitarian Society (FUS) to prepare to host an undocumented immigrant who chooses to go into sanctuary to avoid deportation. To date, no one has gone into sanctuary in Dane County. The Dane Sanctuary Coalition is working with the Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) in the hopes of assisting undocumented immigrants before they have to consider seeking sanctuary. CILC offers legal consulting to people who have questions or issues related to their immigration status. The consultations occur at free clinics hosted twice each month by Christ Presbyterian Church and staffed primarily with volunteers. They have many needs that volunteers could help meet. There will be a light lunch at 12:30 p.m. followed by a presentation at 1:00 p.m. Donations welcome. If you have questions about this event, feel free to contact CSS President, Jeff Spitzer-Resnick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 24 & 25: “Hope in the Shadow of the Wall” – A Talk by Reverend Mitri Raheb
Shaarei Shamayim is a co-sponsor of these events with Reverend Dr. Mitri Raheb, a leading Palestinian liberation theologian. Rev. Raheb will speak at First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive, on the 24th at 7pm about Hope in the Shadow of the Wall. On the 25th at 7pm, Rev. Raheb and Rev. Everett Mitchell will speak on The Black Church and Palestinian Theologies: Intersections of Faith in the Midst of Empire at Christ the Solid Rock Church, 1502 Parkside Drive. Hosted by the Madison Bright Stars of Bethlehem chapter. Rev. Raheb is President of Bright Stars of Bethlehem and Founding President of Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
Well it is no secret that this world, our country, Wisconsin and sometimes Madison can be a depressing place to live and be part of. So, in addition to organizing events and action oriented events happening in Madison I will try to be a bit more intentional about mentioning events that I think are part of actively making Madison a better, more inclusive and equitable community.
July 14: Stop the Violence, Save the Children Community March
Community leaders will join with local churches to have a solidarity march to fight the violence and shootings that have happened in Madison and our surrounding communities. A Free Community Breakfast will be provided at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church starting at 9 a.m. followed by parade staging at 10:30 and the march beginning at 11 a.m. All ages are welcome with family-friendly activities including face painting, balloons, sign making and more. More information on the event on Facebook and on their website.
July 23: Inclusive Leadership: Unconscious Bias, Trust & Decision Making
Deborah Vaughn Biddle teaches this workshop at the Dream Bank at 1 N Pinckney from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. Details here.
July 28: Disability Pride Fest
From 12-5 at the Tenney Park Shelter. “The Disability Pride Festival celebrates the lives and civil rights of all people with disabilities. Through art and performance, we will share the stories of our lives, breakdown and end internalized shame and stereotypes and build a stronger, more inclusive community for everyone.” More information here.
July 30: Madison Abortion Access Working Group: Expanding Our Movement
This event is hosted by the Women’s Medical Fund Wisconsin. “From the Supreme Court and fake clinics to Medicaid bans and stigma, our fight for abortion access is as urgent now as ever. You can strengthen our movement by joining in Madison's Abortion Access Working Group. Join us in Madison on Monday, July 30 from 6-8pm (plus a social hour afterwards!) Please register at http://bit.ly/WMFMSN2 to receive an email with location details.” More info on the event can be found here.
Just your weekly reminder that the 2018 midterm elections could not be more critical. Unless we change who is in the House and in the Senate, no other branch of government will hold the Trump administration accountable and put a stop to his brutal policies. Swing Left is doing great work – focusing on the small number of swing districts where the election was decided by a close margin. If paying attention to electoral politics interests you – follow Swing Left’s lead. One of those races is in Wisconsin- to take Paul Ryan’s seat. Both Randy Bryce and Cathy Meyers are running. And flippable does this work on the state level.
Supreme Court seat:
Hard to be optimistic about this given the who is in the Senate. Indivisible has this toolkit on trying to apply pressure to Republican Senators on this vote. I am calling and emailing Ron Johnson to let him know this vote is important to me and you can too.
**One of the best things we can do right now (other than spend our time, energy and money on the midterm elections) is dig in locally. The pockets of poverty in Madison are getting increasingly deeper. There are way too many homeless children and unaccompanied youth in our schools. The TEP program does crucial work. Check out this short video by Heartland Credit Union and they are boosting donations to TEP this summer.
**Defusing the Violence. Please take a moment to read about the powerful work that is happening in Dane County. And when you have the opportunity to talk with people in the city, let them know how valuable you think these efforts are and you are glad the city is funding this work.
** The Equal Justice Initiative put out the report, Segregation in America, (and a companion website), documenting how millions of white Americans joined a mass movement of committed, unwavering, and often violent opposition to the Civil Rights Movement. EJI believes that understanding this mass opposition to racial equality, integration, and civil rights is central to confronting the continuing challenges of racial inequality today. Check it out and share with your networks.
**Dan Kaufman (brother of CSS member Ariel Kaufman and son of Jerry Kaufman and Judith Zukerman) has recently published a book, The Fall of Wisconsin. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t turn out well for Wisconsin or bode well for the United States. You can read a review of his book and he will be at Room of One’s Own on July 25th.
**Unsettled Podcast “provides a space, all too rare in institutional American Jewish communities, for difficult conversations and diverse viewpoints around Israel-Palestine and the Jewish diaspora.”
**The Wilderness. If you are involved with or actively concerned about the Democratic party, you might find this interesting. “The Wilderness is a documentary from Crooked Media and Two-Up about the history and future of the Democratic Party. Pod Save America’s Jon Favreau tells the story of a party finding its way out of the political wilderness through conversations with strategists, historians, policy experts, organizers, and voters. In fifteen chapters, the series explores issues like inequality, race, immigration, sexism, foreign policy, media strategy, and how Democrats can build a winning majority that lasts.”
**You can weigh in if you have an opinion on where Madison’s city council should hold its meetings. Here is an online Polco survey you can fill out.
Social Action email
I am the social action committee chair for Congregation Shaarei Shamayim (CSS) and send out social action updates by email most weeks.