Sustaining the Momentum: Updates on Our Gun Violence Prevention Campaign

Inside Leadership

Sustaining the Momentum: Updates on Our Gun Violence Prevention Campaign

Three teen boys holding signs that read REFORM JEWISH STUDENTS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

On March 24, thousands of Reform Jews joined together in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the world in support of the March for Our Lives. Led by our high school and college students, we spent Shabbat engaged in social justice work and, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “prayed with our feet” to end the scourge of gun violence.  

Two months ago, just days after the massacre in Parkland, NFTY — The Reform Jewish Youth Movement passed a lengthy resolution affirming our commitment to ending gun violence. Since then, thousands of Reform Jews have joined us in taking a stance on gun violence legislation by urging Congress to take action, inviting teens to speak from the bimahand marching with us in Washington D.C. and around the world.  

And while the numbers from the March for Our Lives were impressive – 800,000 marchers, hundreds of cities, thousands of Reform Jews – even more impressive is the momentum that the March for Our Lives built that we now have the opportunity and obligation to sustain.  

Here’s what the Reform Movement has been up to since the March for Our Lives:  

  1. National Call-In Day: On Tuesday, April 10, Reform Jews across the U.S. joined together to demand that Congress enact common sense gun violence prevention policies. Reform Jews from 23 states spoke with 85+ members of Congress. Teens from KESTY, the youth group at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD, hosted a call-in night to make calls together to amplify their collective voices. (If you've yet to contact your member of Congress, you can still do so. Here's how.

  2. Legislative Change: NFTY teens, the Religious Action Center, and the Union for Reform Judaism have long been at the forefront of pressing social issues and matters of justice in the world. Building on this legacy, we are organizing for legislative change. Five NFTY regions will host voter registration drives through the end of the school year, and we are gearing up to participate in a civic engagement campaign leading up to the midterm elections. Sign up to receive more information.

  3. School Walkouts: This Friday, April 20, thousands of high school students will walk out of school to rally against gun violence in schools. More than 2,000 school walkouts are registered across the country on the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999. Are you walking out? Use NFTY’s resources.  

  4. National Gun Violence Awareness Day: Even when call-in days and school walkouts are behind us, we aren’t slowing down. We're already gearing up for National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 1, and Wear Orange WeekendUse NFTY’s resources to learn how to be an effective activist, and save the date to join NFTY and the entire Reform Movement in wearing orange to commemorate victims of gun violence and demand action to keep our communities safe.  

Together, we are committed to building inclusive communities, repairing the world, and pursuing justice. Our work is just beginning. Sign up to stay involved as we organize for legislative change, voter registration, and ultimately, a healed world.  

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the social network for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Logan Zinman Gerber is the national teen campaign organizer at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, working with high school and college students on the Reform Jewish Movement's gun violence prevention strategy and civic engagement. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Chicago, Logan started her career working for Ceasefire, The Joyce Foundation, and Chicago Public Schools, and spent the last seven years working as NFTY's Chicago director. She is humbled to get to wake up every day and support our youth leaders in their pursuit of justice.

Logan Zinman Gerber
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