New York, NY – Whether fighting hunger, leading spiritual communities, producing Jewish gospel music, or even saving the Jewish People millennia ago, Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women have for centuries been leaders, teachers, storytellers, and changemakers in the Jewish community. But all too often, Jewish holidays, narratives, and spaces, fail to celebrate and amplify these critical stories. Inspired by the Jewish holiday of Purim, the new campaign #ShareHerStory from the Jewish Multiracial Network, Jewish Women’s Archive, and Repair the World, shares the stories of modern Jewish women of color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who are creating a more inclusive and just Jewish community and society in a multitude of ways. Short, easy-to-share vignettes tell the stories of these powerful Jewish leaders. Access the stories at weRepair.org/Purim.
“What could have easily been another forgotten moment in history has become a festival of celebration for one reason only: Jews persisted in telling her story for generations,” says Tamara Fish, president of the Jewish Multiracial Network. “The fact that we mark Purim as a holiday is a testament to the power of storytelling. We can learn a lot from this! So in the spirit of Esther, we are ringing out loud the stories of risk-taking and groundbreaking Jewish women of color, together with Sephardi and Mizrahi women, who deserve to be remembered in history.”
#ShareHerStory is the first time Repair the World, the largest Jewish service organization in the country, has included Purim in its ongoing social justice campaigns. Purim is an incredible opportunity for collaboration between the Jewish Multiracial Network, an organization which advances Jewish diversity through empowerment and community building with Jews of Color and Jewish multiracial families, the Jewish Women’s Archive, an organization which documents Jewish women’s stories, elevates their voices, and inspires them to be agents of change, and Repair the World, the leading service organization engaging millennials in year round conversations about social justice. Purim recounts the tale of Esther, a Persian Jewish woman, whispering words in a king’s ear and ultimately risking her life and her autonomy to save others.
“Purim is a holiday that teaches us about the power of women’s stories to make change,” says Judith Rosenbaum of the Jewish Women’s Archive. “But these stories can only have an impact if we remember them, and too often, women’s stories are left out of the narrative. This Purim, we will celebrate the holiday by sharing the compelling and inspiring stories of Jewish Women of Color, Mizrahi, and Sephardi women who have made—and are making—their mark on history.”
“For hundreds of years, women, people of color, especially women of color, and other marginalized communities have mobilized to fight persistent challenges that face our society. Finally, mainstream institutions and media have started to catch up with those movements. Together, we can act now to amplify their stories,” added Laura Belinfante, Director of Digital Campaigns, Repair the World.
Repair the World’s ten-month call for young adults to Act Now has included the 2017 High Holidays (Act Now for a Different Kind of Service), Thanksgiving (Act Now Against Hunger), MLK Day (Act Now for Racial Justice); and, after #ShareHerStory, will conclude with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Repair the World has found that connecting urgent needs to address specific issues with specific moments in the calendar can increase mobilization, as people look to connect their celebration of a holiday with what they care about. Nearly 10,000 people participated in service experiences as part of MLK Day’s Act Now for Racial Justice.