Justice We Shall Pursue: How to Be an Ally?
American Jewish University stands opposed to all forms of racism and all bigotry. We affirm our support for all our students, staff, and community members who are pursuing justice at this moment.
Our work is driven by the Jewish values of justice (tzedek), equality under the law (mishpat) and acts of kindness (chesed). Our lifeblood as an educational institution is to increase access for all we serve to open inquiry, vigorous conversation, moral engagement, and disciplined learning.
In the coming weeks, we will use our power as a University to host conversations around structural racism and its pernicious impact on our society.
Julie Weitz is a Los Angeles based artist whose work spans several media including video, film, performance and installation. Her practice is grounded in Jewish folklore, mysticism, humor and ritual. Weitz also works as a writer, educator and activist.
She is currently a Helix fellow at Yiddishkayt, and teaches at Los Angeles City College (Los Angeles, CA), East Los Angeles College (Monterey Park, CA) and Sierra Nevada University (Incline Village, NV). Weitz also conducts educational programming focused on justice and creativity at various Jewish institutions. In addition, she is a contributing writer for Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (CARLA), and an activist organizer with Never Again Action, a progressive, Jewish-led organization that takes direct action in support of immigrant justice. Weitz recently started the @Jews4BlackLives Instagram account and organizes in solidarity with Black LIves Matter and The People’s Budget of Los Angeles. http://www.julieweitz.com/
Kimberly (Kimmy) Dueñas is a California native with a global spirit. Born into a multicultural home, she discovered that the best way to explore her dynamic Ashkenazi and Sephardic identity was to immerse and involve herself in the world - beginning with tracing her roots to rural El Salvador, Europe, and Israel.
A Jewish educator for the last decade, Kimmy heard the call to dive deeper into her yoga practice and leadership, and recently transitioned to working in the wellness sphere full time. In 2020 she founded ‘Learn. Grow. Rise.’ a yoga and wellness education community which provides a safe space for individuals and groups to develop deeper connections to themselves through breathing, movement and mindful lifestyle practices. https://jewtina.org/
Rabbi Cheryl Peretz is the Associate Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, where she also received her ordination. She also holds her MBA in Marketing Management from Baruch College, and helps bring those skills and expertise into the operational practices of rabbis and congregations throughout North America.