Don’t Kvetch, Organize


How Community Organizing Can Build a More Just World

“Issues of social justice have always been important to me but knowing how to put my strong feelings into action has been a challenge, says Roni Freedman member of CBHT. “I’ve always wanted to act on issues that impact my life and the lives of my family and work toward change. “Don’t Kvetch, Organize,” has given me the tools to make a difference,” she added.


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In-Person Event Guidelines

The health and safety of our community remain our utmost priority, and after extensive research and consideration, CJJ is updating our policy for in-person events. The parameters for in-person events are detailed below, and align with most recent CDC and NCDHHS guidelines.
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CJJ in Conversation: NC Democracy Defenders

On April 24, veteran voting rights attorneys Leslie Winner and Hilary Harris Klein joined us for a conversation about the struggle for voting rights in North Carolina, past and present, and how we can be engaged in this critical work now. You can view the recording of this powerful dialogue on YouTube.

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CJJ @ The Hard Lox Festival!

On May 1st (May Day!), many CJJniks and other Jews from across the South gathered at Asheville's legendary Hard Lox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival - hosted by Congregation Beth HaTephila.  The Festival was an incredible opportunity for Southern Jews "from the hills and hollers" to come together after a long hiatus due to the Covid pandemic.  The energy was celebratory coupled with a desire to take action to defend and expand our multiracial democracy!

Lisa sharing about CJJ, engaging new members

CJJ Statewide Organizer, Lisa Forehand, engaged many folks in our work in the West, recruiting full sheets of new members!  Stay tuned for upcoming Orientation events and CJJ-West programming!

Three CJJ leaders big smiles

CJJ-West Leaders Marilynne Herbert and Judy Leavitt sandwich CJJ Interim Executive Director, and long distance pastrami-seeker, Abby Lublin, beaming from the food and in person conversations!


CJJ leaders and staff spoke with countless people who were eager for information about how to vote. Ron Katz - CJJ Board Member and Voting Rights Team leader - single-handedly defended democracy by answering election questions from an endless line of festival-goers.

Marilynne Herbert met this wonderful young man who arrived in Asheville two weeks ago from Odessa, Ukraine.  He was very moved to connect with Jewish community.  The feelings were mutual, as we shed some tears while he blew the shofar. Please introduce yourself if you see him around town, wearing his new CJJ blue t-shirt. 

We met people from all over WNC and beyond, and were inspired by their eagerness to engage in the Jewish tradition of enacting greater justice for all.  CJJ is thrilled to have such a positive response.  We shared hard-copy voter guides (you can access another guide via the League of Women Voters website), as well as a list of upcoming CJJ-West events.  It was amazing to be together again, and we look forward to more!

Elections and Voting Rights 2022: What You Can Do Now

This guide (last updated 5/3/2022) provides information about the 2022 elections, and a list of opportunities for getting involved NOW, and for keeping up-to-date. 

Choose from actions that take a few minutes to those that require an hour or more, or an ongoing commitment. Once you have chosen, do what you can! If you sign up for a phone bank or text bank, you don’t have to stay the whole time! If you postcard or write letters, you can write them a few at a time on your own, or write them together with friends. If you canvass or register voters in person, you get to hang out with other people! 

Note that this guide only covers nonpartisan nonprofit organizations. Voting rights is not a partisan issue! If we end voter suppression and increase voter turnout, we will have the democracy we want!

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Statewide Study - The Wilmington Coup of 1898

If you had a similar reaction to us in January of 2020, you were completely glued to your phone or computer as you watched an organized white nationalist formation take over the US Capitol building - intent on inspiring fear, violence, and stopping democratic process.  

Here is the thing: it is of vital importance to remember that we’ve seen this before. In this country. In our state. As Black and Brown progressive political power is built, there is a violent white political reaction. We know this from post-Reconstruction America. Look no further than our own state for one of the most violent white supremacist coups of that time, Wilmington, NC in 1898.

Led by board member Ray Katz and organizer Brandon Mond, our statewide community gathered on January 19th - the day before Inauguration Day - for a political education program on the Wilmington Coup of 1898. You can read more about this day in Black history at this link or by watching the recording of our virtual gathering below. 

CJJ’s response to January 6th, aside from continuing to take action to defend our democracy, was to call our membership into a collective study of this history. We must take a hard look at the past in order to move strategically now, and build a better tomorrow with our Black and Brown siblings.


CJJ-Triad Leaders Celebrate Their First Chapter Meeting

Member leaders met this past week to get to know each other, learn from our community partners about the campaign to stop the eviction of the Hiatt Street residents and how we can get involved, and made plans for CJJ-Triad's activity in 2022.

Want to get involved? Sign up for an upcoming new member orientation or chapter event at this link


Meet Our Interim Executive Director

This email from Interim Executive Director Abby Lublin went out to our entire email list on January 25, 2022.

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Moving together after synagogue attack

We Keep Us Safe

This email from Rabbi Salem Pearce and Abby Lublin went out to our entire email list on January 18, 2022.

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ED Transition

CJJ Board President Meredith Cohen (she/her) made the following announcement on January 12. 2022.

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