JUJ seeks participants for four task forces

Jews United for Justice (JUJ) seeks participants in forming the Jewish response to the Ferguson Commission Report. 

JUJ was formed in St. Louis to provide a progressive voice in the Jewish community and a Jewish voice in the Progressive community. The organization advocates for institutional change on a range of domestic, racial, social and economic issues.  

When the Ferguson Commission Report was published, JUJ reached out to the Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Relations Council, National Council of Jewish Women, Anti-Defamation League, the Rabbinical Association, and synagogues’ social justice leaders to lead a coordinated Jewish communal effort to help implement the recommendations in the Ferguson Report. 

After two town hall meetings and surveying members of the Jewish community, JUJ established four task forces to support change in each of the report’s four primary sections. To strengthen these efforts JUJ is recruiting people in the Jewish community to work actively on these issues: 

• The Opportunity to Thrive Task Force, chaired by Susan Roth, is focused on alternatives to predatory lending through education and advocacy. It is working with Prosperity Connection in areas of financial literacy education, financial coaching and providing the Red Dough product as an alternative to payday loans. The advocacy effort includes supporting predatory loan ordinances in the region.

• The Justice for All Task Force, chaired by Ben Senturia, addresses policing practices. Its approach is based on relationship building with area police departments and has met with police leadership, learning and discussing how to implement mutually beneficial reforms as proposed in the report. The task force works with Metropolitan Congregations United. 

• The Youth at the Center Task Force, chaired by Lou Albert, is working to improve early childhood education by helping operators of day care centers that have good treatment but need support to meet various licensing requirements. It works in conjunction with the JCRC task force on early childhood education. 

Racial Equity Task Force, chaired by Philip Deitch, works with ADL to provide anti-bias training for staff and lay leaders of Jewish organizations and congregations. 

For more information on participating with the task forces, contact David Lander at [email protected] or visit www.jujstl.org.