Zioness Provides Austin Jewish Community  with Opportunity to Learn About New Organization

Zioness Provides Austin Jewish Community with Opportunity to Learn About New Organization

Austin Jewish community members gather at Congregation Agudas Achim to watch the livestream of the Zioness Teach-In event held at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York. Credit: Wendy Goodman

Austin's Jewish community gathered to hear a livestream teach-in Jan. 17 from Zioness, an organization created in response to allegations of anti-Semitism within the national leadership of Women’s March Inc.

Zioness defines itself as progressive, Zionist organization rooted in Jewish values that stands for justice and fights against all forms of oppression. The organization facilitated the teach-in to discuss how and when progressive Jewish women speak out and show up to events, like the Women’s March Inc, where they might not feel welcome. The event was held at The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York and livestreamed at Congregation Agudas Achim. The event included eight speakers from various religious and ethnic groups, including New York City council member Ritchie Torres and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Following the livestream, participants in Austin gathered for a discussion to explore the effect of being Jewish and progressive in the greater Austin community. It was impactful to hear community voices reflect on their own experiences navigating this new landscape. Several participants explored the differences between the Jewish and African American relationships today versus those that they experienced years ago and some of the reasons for the changes they have observed.

Renee Lafair, ADL Austin regional director, described the event “as an important first step in exploring the nuances of today’s progressive movement. For over 100 years, the ADL has formed coalitions and partnerships to fight for justice and fair treatment for all. It is important to continue conversations with our partners in order to move justice forward.” ■

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