I am writing to ask for your help to reach my audacious fundraising goal of $10,000 by December 31st, to support JYCA (Jewish Youth for Community Action) www.jycajustice.org. This is the organization I am directing now!
My parents and I made large gifts, and I am asking you to join us.
JYCA is a 21 year-old program created and led by youth working towards radical, lefty social change within a framework of Jewish social justice values. It serves and is open to all youth, even those who do not identify as Jewish. Jyca currently is comprised of 1/4 youth of color and 1/2 queer and trans Jewish youth. JYCA is committed to racial, environmental and social justice. This is the only program of it's kind in the United States.
In a time of immense social and environmental degradation, and in a bleak political climate: JYCA is giving me life. Watching youth organize, take major risks (canvassing for progressive ballot measures, organizing sit-ins at banks to support the water protectors resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline, being visible as Jews in anti-racist organizing, speaking out in their schools for Black Lives Matter, feminism, and for indigenous sovereignty)- JYCA is a sacred space that needs protecting for youth to grow as organizers, activists and Jews.
Would you be willing to make a donation that is meaningful to you?
JYCA is in a time of financial crisis, and I am asking people I know care about politicized Jewish youth spaces to offer generosity to help this beautiful organization thrive and grow. If you give a larger gift, you will be helping us out of financial hardship and contributing to an endowment that will help carry us for years to come.
JYCA youth heal internalized anti-Semitism, learn brass-tacks community organizing skills, and cultivate the skills they need to lead their own organizations: they serve on the board, participate in fundraising, build curriculum, learn to facilitate, coach and counsel their peers, and research movement organizations and strategies.
Reasons to give to JYCA:
- Support Jewish youth to heal internalized anti-Semitism and love themselves and each other
- Support politicized spaces for youth where they learn to organize: direct action, public speaking, curricular development, movement strategy, leadership development skills- we need youth to know how to move our communities, now more than ever!
- Support a youth program that RESPECTS youth by: nurturing and centering their leadership and direction, making space for their full feelings, following their lead, acknowledging their intelligence, meeting them where they are at and teaching what they want to learn
- We are a small but tenacious organization, doing a whole lot on a small budget. Every dollar you give to JYCA counts!
Please consider giving to JYCA <3>
If you want to read more, here is a letter from a parent of two youth who were involved the last few years, Sharon Siskin- these two youth started a BADASS organization that is organizing youth against rape culture in Bay Area schools!
"Our daughters, Maya and Rachel, were passionately involved with JYCA throughout their time in high school and it was an invaluable, life-changing experience for them. Finding their own voices as powerful young women, forming close bonds with a diversity of fabulous young people, and learning the skills and strategies to affect positive social change were only some of the reasons that they found this organization so compelling. JYCA was also a safe space for them to listen and to be heard—to support and to be supported within a loving, inclusive community of their peers.
Both of our daughters have become thoughtful, effective community organizers and leaders. During their junior year they were among the founding members of an organization (with a few other JYCA youth) at Berkeley High School, informed by the skills, experience, and confidence that that they drew upon from their years involved with JYCA. This now 2 year-old (plus) organization called BHS Stop Harassing, continues to work to change the culture at Berkeley High School and beyond, around sexual harassment and violence, creating a model of a high school where all students feel safe and respected. Through teach-ins, public and guerilla actions, petitions, public speaking, a website, contact with the media, and lots of meetings, BHS Stop Harassing has been able to raise awareness and create some incremental change within the school district.
In June 2015 they were publically recognized for their work and honored by Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls. BHS Stop Harassing received their 2015 Champion of Justice Award. Additionally, this week the City of Berkeley Commission on the Status of Women is awarding BHS Stop Harassing with their Outstanding Organization Award.
Rachel became the Youth Board Chair of JYCA in her senior year, and Maya was a member of the JYCA Action Committee. They eventually persuaded me to join the board, and although they are now in college (and JYCA alums) I happily continue to serve on the JYCA board for my second year, to support this wonderful and very unique organization. I began my personal fundraising by contributing a $50 donation to JYCA. Rachel and Maya each matched my donation with their own $50 donations. Now, I am asking for you to consider making any donation, large or small, to help to ensure that this unique treasure of an organization can continue to thrive for many years into the future. Thank you for your donation!"
MORE INFORMATION FROM OUR INTERGENERATIONAL BOARD OF YOUTH AND ADULTS:
Jewish Youth for Community Action is raising $100,000 by the end of the year. This Crowdrise campaign by passionate staff, board members and community members has a goal of raising $40,000 of that total from new and long-time supporters, including you!
Why are we fundraising? Because we love JYCA and the impact it's had on our lives and so many others. JYCA believes that youth have the power and the passion to create justice in the world right now. JYCA gives them the support and tools to use their voice to impact their community. JYCA believes that social justice is a core of our Jewish values, and central to our Jewish Identity. We create a loving and inclusive community where youth can challenge themselves and each other to face big issues and take action. We provide leadership training programs for high school age youth in community organizing through a lens of Jewish values. Youth participate in workshops on Active Listening, Communication, Adultism, Sexism, Racism, Campaign Development and Facilitation. We have amazing retreats where there is incredible bonding, learning, Shabbat time, nature hikes and beach runs.
JYCA youth have an incredible impact on our world, starting projects and campaigns addressing poverty, sexual harassment, juvenile justice, environmental justice, and immigration. JYCA alumni have become leaders in communities across the country as organizers, teachers, working for progressive politicians and environmental justice campaigns and human rights organizations. However, in order to keep program fees affordable, JYCA needs donations. In fact, fundraising accounts for 2/3 of our budget each year. Please give a donation to support this work today.