Activism

There are a variety of non-profit organizations that are immersed in issues aligned with JUDJ’s mission. Representatives of most of the following organizations have been amongst the speakers in our “Community Conversations” series and the “America at a Crossroads” virtual series. We encourage you to connect with and support these organizations, many of which have volunteer opportunities and other ways to take action.

CENTER FOR COMMON GROUND’S RECLAIM OUR VOTE CAMPAIGN

Ongoing voter suppression and voter list purging have been disenfranchising millions of eligible voters — especially voters of color. Reclaim Our Vote works in those voter suppression states. Our volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. It is a nonpartisan campaign of the nonprofit 501(c)3 Center for Common Ground.


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


POSTCARDS TO VOTERS

Postcards to Voters are friendly, handwritten reminders from volunteers to targeted voters giving Democrats a winning edge in close, key races coast to coast.


ROCK THE VOTE

In 1990, music executives founded Rock the Vote in response to the censorship of hip-hop and rap artists. Our first partnership, with MTV, promoted the message that “Censorship is Un-American” and activated millions of young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests. For thirty years, we have continuously adapted to the changing landscapes of media, technology and culture to breakthrough and empower each new generation.


VOTE.ORG

Vote.org uses technology to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy.


WHEN WE ALL VOTE

When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that is on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

ACLU

For nearly one hundred years, ACLU lawyers have been at the center of one history-making court case after another, participating in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization. With attorneys nationwide, we handle thousands of cases each year on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated.


Bet Tzedek

Bet Tzedek attorneys and advocates help people of all communities and generations secure life’s necessities. Wherever people are in crisis, Bet Tzedek’s core services and rapid response programs provide stability and hope.


Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights

CHIRLA is a California leader with the national impact made of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change to achieve a world with freedom of mobility, full human rights, and true participatory democracy. CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants.


HIAS

HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.


Public Counsel

Public Counsel is the largest pro bono law firm in the nation. We work with major law firms and corporations to change people’s futures. A staff of 71 attorneys and 50 support staff – including five social workers – along with over 5,000 volunteer lawyers, law students and legal professionals assists over 30,000 children, youth, families, and community organizations every year.

ANTI DEFAMATION LEAGUE

ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education, and is a leading organization in training law enforcement. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.


BEND THE ARC 

Bend the Arc is a movement of tens of thousands of progressive Jews all across the country. For years, we’ve worked to build a more just society. Now we’re rising up in solidarity with everyone threatened by the Trump agenda to fight for the soul of our nation.


EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE

The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.


INTEGRITY FIRST FOR AMERICA

Integrity First for America (IFA) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to holding those accountable who threaten longstanding principles of our democracy—including our country’s commitment to civil rights and equal justice.


NAACP

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

ACLU

For nearly one hundred years, ACLU lawyers have been at the center of one history-making court case after another, participating in more Supreme Court cases than any other private organization. With attorneys nationwide, we handle thousands of cases each year on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated.


REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS 

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides pro bono legal representation, amicus curiae support, and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists.

JUDJ Newsletter

JUDJ regularly sends supporters newsletters highlighting upcoming events and a round up of important articles and news coverage related to our efforts and issue areas.

Dear friends:

After registering, you can click on this ZOOM LINK for tonight’s Program:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81947158739

1. In this morning’s New York TImes, this op-ed suggests that Attorney General Barr is weaponizing Justice Department investigations for political ends.  There are two particular Justice Department investigations that Barr seems particularly intent on pursuing: one investigation relates to examining the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the other relates to the “so-called unmasking” of Trump associates by those associated with the Obama administration.  There are indications, claim the writers, that Barr is poised to trample on the policies and norms of the Justice Department by using these investigations as “fodder for pre-election political machinations.”

2.  Also about Bill Barr…. In today’s Ideas column of The Atlantic, NYU Law School’s Andrew Weissman writes about Barr’s recent Congressional testimony, and in particular about Barr’s intervention in the Stone and Flynn cases and how such intervention (which Barr either denies or about which he has no recollection) violates the seminal doctrine that all are to be treated equally under the law. Weissman concludes:  “So what does this all mean? It means that if you are personally connected to the president or have information that could hurt the president, or both, you can be treated far more favorably by this attorney general, as he will bend the law and facts to the president’s desired result. His actions…strike at the heart of the Aristotelian principle central to the rule of law, that we treat likes alike. John Locke warned that ‘where law ends, tyranny begins.’ Now, more than three centuries later, that statement applies to the head of the American system of justice.”  

3.  Cancel Culture and the pursuit of racial justice and equality are the topics of this essay entitled “The Princeton Faculty’s Anti-Free-Speech Demands” which appears in The Atlantic this week.  As Princeton University tries to come to grips with how to “reorder itself to fight racism”, 350 professors signed a letter with numerous demands, one of which has meet with resistance even from those who signed the letter.  “One demand in particular generated a great deal of attention in the media: ‘Constitute a committee composed entirely of faculty that would oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication on the part of faculty.’ The letter added that ‘what counts as racist’ should be determined by the yet-to-be-formed faculty committee. This notice of a “racism tribunal” struck some as inconsistent with the notion of academic freedom.  This debate at Princeton reflects the conversations which are transpiring at many academic institutions which are trying to figure out just how to address America’s racial reckoning without eroding the principles of free speech and academic freedom.  

Dear friends:

Several thousand of us just completed a stimulating and highly informative hour with Thomas L. Friedman moderated by Warren Olney.  The conversation spanned from foreign policy to climate policy to COVID 19 challenges and beyond.  If you did not tune in, you are in luck; tomorrow the full recording can be found on our website at this link. 

Next week should be exciting as well, with the always animated, opinionated, and brilliant James Carville. You can register here

1.  Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, wrote this op ed published in today’s NY TImes in which he expressed the opinion that the federal government’s uninvited intervention in Portland endangers our democracy and undermines our safety.  In particular, he opined that deploying the Department of Homeland Security for such situations as exist in Portland hurts the Department’s “ability to carry out is core mission of protecting American’s from genuine threats”.  He also wrote that the government’s “heavy handed, unconventional means, and inflammatory political rhetoric has contributed to growing public distrust” and he calls upon the leadership of Homeland security “to firmly and unequivocally reject efforts to hijack the agency for political purposes.”  In the column Chertoff enumerates the ways in which the federal troops have acted in clear violation of the law and are “dismissive of legal restraints”.


2.  Today’s New Yorker Daily Comment is a column by Steve Coll, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, in which he questions whether the US Postal Service is being manipulated to help Trump’s reelection effort. Coll makes the point that the Trump presidency has challenged the resiliency of many of our democratic institutions, and that “[i]t is a testament to how thoroughly Trump’s norm-shattering, autocratic leadership has permeated Washington that even the sleepy Post Office has become politicized and thrust into a position where its capacity for independence and professionalism is being tested, and will help determine the story of the United States’ most consequential election in generations.”

FINAL WORD:
You can donate to help offset our expenses via our JUDJ website .  Our partner for the America at a Crossroads series is Community Advocates, Inc. whose website is
https://www.cai-la.org/  Funds donated to either organization are being used to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.  

Dear friends:

Be sure to register to hear James Carville this Wednesday at 5 pm (Los Angeles time).  Once you register, you will receive the zoom link (several times) within the 48 hours before the event.  You can register here

1.  As we get closer to November 3, in light of efforts on the part of President Trump to undermine the country’s confidence in our voting systems, there is increased concern about the administration of this election.   In yesterday’s Washington Post, George F. Will, who spoke to our audience brilliantly just a few weeks go (go here to listen to the full recording), emphasized the importance of state and local governments doing everything they possibly can do to ensure efficient collection and counting of ballots. In this column he wrote,  “The Republic’s domestic tranquility depends on encouraging a historic level of early voting. In 2016, more than 41% of ballots were cast before Election Day. Ideally, 70 percent will be this year. To minimize the scope for Trump’s sociopathy, the nation needs a timely determination of the outcome — before sunrise Wednesday, Nov. 4. To facilitate this — to prevent days or even weeks of uncertainty, during which Trump can fertilize discord — states should immediately stipulate that mailed ballots must be postmarked five days before Election Day, so that counting can be completed by that evening.” 

2.  On a closely related topic, in her column in this week’s New Yorker, Susan Glasser warns of the dangers of President Trump’s recent suggestion that the election be delayed.  She juxtaposed Congressman Lewis’ over-arching life-long commitment to voting rights against Trump’s unfounded proclamations of widespread voter fraud.  “It was not the first time that the President has raised this particular canard—and a canard it is, a radical move that is not within his power to make happen—but it was by far his most inflammatory, destabilizing, and provocative attempt yet to call into question the legitimacy of the November election, in which he is trailing the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, in virtually every poll. Has there ever been a President who has done more to undermine American democracy? Trump himself has become the crisis of confidence in our political system that he warns about.” 

3.  President Trump’s suggestion about delaying the election was met with widespread criticism, most notably coming from Republican leaders.  The Co-founder of the Conservative and usually pro-Trump Federalist Society, Northwestern University law professor Steven Calabresi, wrote this op-ed in Friday’s New York Times entitled “Trump Might Try to Postpone the Election.  That’s Unconstitutional.” in which he stated that Trump should be removed from office if he does not relent in his effort to change the election date. After stating that he had voted for Republicans in every election since 1980, including having voted for Trump in 2016, he said this: “But, I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.”

4.  Cancel Culture and Race Identity have become very important topics in our country over the past few months, as the country is dealing with what has been called a “racial reckoning”.  In last week’s New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner interviewed African American cultural critic and author,Thomas Chatterton-Williams, who was involved in the writing of a letter critical of the censorious effects of Cancel Culture”.  The letter which was published in Harper’s entitled, “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate”, and which was signed by a lengthy and impressive list of journalists, philosophers, and writers, is the subject of Chotiner’s intervew of Chatterton-Williams in this weekly Q&A column

This week’s program should be exciting as well, with the always animated, opinionated, and brilliant James Carville!!

FINAL WORD:
You can donate to help offset our expenses via our JUDJ website .  Our partner for the America at a Crossroads series is Community Advocates, Inc. whose website is
 https://www.cai-la.org/  Funds donated to either organization are being used to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.  

Note that journalist and commentator Ron Brownstein will be joining us on September 9.  You can register below.  All of our past recordings as well as the full recording for the program with Bill Kristol and Patt Morrison can be found on our website at this link:  https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

Dear friends:

Several thousand of us just completed a stimulating and highly informative hour with Thomas L. Friedman moderated by Warren Olney.  The conversation spanned from foreign policy to climate policy to COVID 19 challenges and beyond.  If you did not tune in, you are in luck; tomorrow the full recording can be found on our website at this link. 

Next week should be exciting as well, with the always animated, opinionated, and brilliant James Carville. You can register here

1.  Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, wrote this op ed published in today’s NY TImes in which he expressed the opinion that the federal government’s uninvited intervention in Portland endangers our democracy and undermines our safety.  In particular, he opined that deploying the Department of Homeland Security for such situations as exist in Portland hurts the Department’s “ability to carry out is core mission of protecting American’s from genuine threats”.  He also wrote that the government’s “heavy handed, unconventional means, and inflammatory political rhetoric has contributed to growing public distrust” and he calls upon the leadership of Homeland security “to firmly and unequivocally reject efforts to hijack the agency for political purposes.”  In the column Chertoff enumerates the ways in which the federal troops have acted in clear violation of the law and are “dismissive of legal restraints”.

2.  Today’s New Yorker Daily Comment is a column by Steve Coll, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, in which he questions whether the US Postal Service is being manipulated to help Trump’s reelection effort. Coll makes the point that the Trump presidency has challenged the resiliency of many of our democratic institutions, and that “[i]t is a testament to how thoroughly Trump’s norm-shattering, autocratic leadership has permeated Washington that even the sleepy Post Office has become politicized and thrust into a position where its capacity for independence and professionalism is being tested, and will help determine the story of the United States’ most consequential election in generations.”FINAL WORD:
You can donate to help offset our expenses via our JUDJ website .  Our partner for the America at a Crossroads series is Community Advocates, Inc. whose website is
 https://www.cai-la.org/  Funds donated to either organization are being used to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.  

All of our past recordings as well as the full recording for the program with Bill Kristol and Patt Morrison can be found on our website at this link:  https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/

Dear friends:

There was an error in the link sent earlier today.  Here is the CORRECTED zoom link for tomorrow’s program

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 5 pm LA time (8 pm East Coast time).

CORRECTED LINK Connect by simply clicking on this Zoom link:   
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81013019802

1.  By far, the subject of the most commonly asked question posed by audience members to almost every speaker at our virtual series America at a Crossroads relates to whether Trump will accept defeat and whether there will be a smooth transition of power if Trump is defeated.  We have provided links to many columns as well as to a book on that subject.  The Boston Globe has gone one step further by secretly convening a bi-partisan group of academics, political operatives and former government and military officials to “game out” possible scenarios to address the question of what will happen if Trump refuses to concede.  The focus group/”game” participants considered the extent to which Trump would go to preserve power and what that would mean for our democracy.  Yesterday, the Boston Globe published this article entitled ” A bipartisan group secretly gathered to game out a contest Trump-Biden election. It wasn’t pretty.   In short, in the bleak words of Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown law professor and former Defense Department official who organized the project known as the Transition Integrity Project,  “All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse…The law is essentially … helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.” 

2.  In this Washington Post column, Dana Milbank suggests actions that can be taken now that could impact the election in a positive way.  He advocates that, in light of COVID19, we work with haste to increase the number of Americans who vote by mail. Milbank writes that an astounding 76% of America’s voters have the opportunity to vote by mail, meaning that there is no reason for 76% of Americans to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote.  But, he urges that immediate efforts must increase to get people to request their ballots immediately so as not to overwhelm administrators with mail-in ballot requests in the days closer to November 3.  There are seven states (California among them) as well as Washington D.C. which automatically provide mail-in ballots to all registered voters.  Only 9 states, notes Milbank, have determined that the Corona Virus does not justify mail-in balloting.

3.  Here are two of the newest Lincoln Project ads, one is a message from a former Navy Seal who is now an ER doctor who leads an organization called Veterans for Responsible Leadership.  The other is about Ghislaine Maxwell, the late Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent accomplice in the sex trafficking enterprise, and more generally, the manner in which Trump treats women. 

FINAL WORD:
You can donate to help offset our expenses via our JUDJ website .  Our partner for the America at a Crossroads series is Community Advocates, Inc. whose website is
 https://www.cai-la.org/  Funds donated to either organization are being used to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.  

All of our past recordings as well as the full recording for the program with Bill Kristol and Patt Morrison can be found on our website at this link:  https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/