We refuse to accept a future where the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are left to become empty symbols. We know that the vast majority of Jewish immigrants who came to this country would be rejected under today’s stricter immigration laws.
Guided by the Jewish value of “welcoming the stranger” and by the long history of our people as immigrants, refugees and outsiders, Bend the Arc advocates for the rights and dignity of immigrants. We resist cynical efforts to scapegoat immigrants. We recognize the white supremacy underlying policies of inhumane deportation and harsh restriction.
Today, we ally with contemporary immigrant communities to protect Dreamers, and we continue to support comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented peoples that respects the dignity and rights of all.
We know what it means for a government to curtail the rights of some citizens based on prejudice. In the words of Rabbi Joachim Prinz at the March on Washington in 1963, in the face of injustice “bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem — the most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.”
It’s what motivated the Jewish allies of the mid-century Civil Rights Movement, and it’s what continues to motivate us today to join with allies new and old in the modern-day fight for civil rights and inclusion.
We believe fiercely in the voting rights of all citizens. We believe fiercely in protecting marriage equality and expanding workplace protections. And we believe fiercely that civil rights are not contingent on race, faith, gender, sexual orientation, or class — that until all of us can be free, none of us can be free.
As a people who have faced persecution for our religious beliefs before, and still face hatred today, we ally ourselves with all religious minorities in this country who are working to secure lives free from fear, government persecution, or infringement on their right to worship as they choose.
We see the historic levels of wealth inequality in our country as an urgent and unsustainable moral crisis with corrosive impacts on our democracy. And we recognize the many ways that issues of poverty and opportunity intersect with racial justice, immigration, and civil rights.
Drawing on the long and proud Jewish history of fighting for economic justice, Bend the Arc works to create an economy with liveable wages, paid family leave, and other basic economic rights for the 21st century.
We advocate for a country where the wealthiest pay their fair share, where everyone has a path to a decent life with dignity, and where all are cared for by a robust social safety net.
Because we — as a multi-racial Jewish community — believe deeply in the inherent divinity, dignity, and humanity of every person, we believe it’s a moral imperative for us to work to end the centuries-old systemic racism of this country.
We join as allies in critical policy fights around criminal justice reform and police violence that represent life-or-death issues for black communities. We support personal and community transformation by investing in the leadership of Jews of color. And we are unafraid to confront the rise in political support for white nationalist principles, which often intertwine antisemitism and white supremacy.
We have impact when we build community and grow leadership.
We’re training the next generation of Jewish leaders to organize and show up in solidarity with each and every community at risk.
Our leadership programs are designed for a diverse community of emerging leaders, community organizers, activists, and advocates, as well as established change-makers within the Jewish and progressive communities.
For over 12 years, our leadership programs have shaped the Jewish social justice movement. Today, hundreds of alumni of our programs are active in social change campaigns and leading organizations across the country.
For two decades, Bend the Arc has organized progressive Jews to act in partnership with communities who are directly impacted by injustice.
We believe that when we help our community rise up with courage and act boldly for justice, we reconnect to our people’s purpose and prophetic tradition. It’s why we help diverse Jewish activists of every age learn how to organize in their cities.
We have long seen the power of community organizing as a key tactic to achieve our vision. Our organizational history goes back to 1987, when we were a grant-making agency, and we awarded our first grant to a young community organizer on the South Side of Chicago named Barack Obama.
We help tens of thousands of Jews and allies — in cities and states across the country — fight alongside frontline communities and advocate for structural policy changes to systemic injustice.
We believe in the beautiful but unfulfilled promise of this country as a land of opportunity, justice, and equality. We believe there’s no acceptable level of racial injustice or economic inequality in our society. And we believe it’s imperative that American Jews be part of the solution.
Today, there’s a disconnect between many Jewish institutions and the people they represent. The focus of too many national Jewish institutions has turned away from the domestic, progressive priorities held by a vast majority of Jewish voters. We’re correcting that by advocating for policies that achieve our vision of an inclusive and equitable America that’s supportive of the dignity of every person across race, class, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, and faith.