Tzedek is Gilboa’s social justice, activism, and leadership development program for teens in 9th-11th grade. Read on to hear about what we’ve been up to!
It’s the end of January and we’re really excited to be starting another semester of Tzedek - Gilboa’s year-round social justice program for high schoolers. The group will be meeting throughout February to select a campaign to be involved with over the semester. We can’t wait to see what they build over these next few months! In the meantime, the following are some of the awesome highlights from last semester to get our Gilboa community as excited as we are:
During this past election cycle there was a proposition on the ballot which would have reversed years of meaningful criminal justice reform in our state - Prop 20. A coalition formed to organize against this effort, and Tzedek alongside our partners at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, joined in! We immediately got to work learning about the campaign, designing education materials for social media, learning the ins and outs of phone banking from Californians for Safety and Justice, and so much more!
The group brought the broader Gilboa community together for a mass phonebanking event in the final weeks leading up to the election! The teens organized a panel of speakers from Tzedek and other organizations to share information about the campaign and their experiences, we heard a Proposition 20 overview from Brian, a policy expert at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and then all attendees participated in a phone banking session. The event was a major success with 50 people in attendance! It was really special to see so many familiar faces showing up to learn and take action together. And on November 3rd, the campaign succeeded and Prop 20 was rejected!
In addition to our California-based campaign, we also had opportunities throughout the fall and winter to meet other teens from our national shichva (age group) across Habonim Dror North America (HDNA.) Many of us attended a Breaking the Silence workshop with teens from the other Tzedek chapters across the HDNA camps. We engaged in learning and discussions about future peace and justice for all in Israel/Palestine. We also had opportunities to connect with our HDNA peers at a fun Zoom Hannukah party and through Winter Seminar peulot.
Tzedek is truly one of the most special parts of Gilboa. Kids learn how to be involved in their communities, develop confidence in themselves, and sharpen the skills needed to make change in their own lives. It truly is a unique experience.
-Mimi Lucking (Tzedek madricha) & Josh Bloom (Tzedek Rakaz)