Please review the exercise below and this article from Young, Jewish, and Proud’s Emily Ratner on Young, Jewish, and Proud and our relationship to Palestinian voices.
Here is a set of statements that is based on the IPAS Privilege Walk exercise. The way this would work if we were all together in the same space physically, is that we would stand together in a line, and move forward or backward depending on our response to the statements. The idea is that at the end, everyone would be positioned in a different place, and it would illustrate the conflicting advantages and disadvantages we have within society.
For this exercise. Look over the questions and answer them to yourself. Think about how you concieve of privilege and whether or not statements fit into your definition. Ask yourself how do the privileges and disadvantages you have connect with your identity(/ies), and how is your position in society fluid. Finally, try to re-frame your work with Jewish Voice for Peace, in your community, and on other causes, in this context.
There is a short writing exercise (to be done before the call) below the statements, for you to reflect upon this. We will discuss it together on the call.
If you or your ancestors came to the United States by force, take one step back.
If there were more than 50 books in your house growing up, take one step forwards.
If you ever felt unsafe because of your sexual orientation, take one step back.
If you were ever denied employment, paid less, or treated less fairly in the workplace because of your race, gender, or any other aspect of your identity, please take one step back.
If you have ever inherited money or property, take one step forward.
If you have ever had to rely primarily on public transportation, take one step back.
If you were ever stopped or questioned by the police because of your race, take one step back.
If you ever felt uncomfortable about a joke about your gender, but felt unsafe confronting the situation, take one step back.
If you have ever heard individuals who share your ability status described as “unfit” to reproduce, please take one step back.
If your family ever had to skip a meal because there was not enough money to buy food when you were growing up, please take one step back.
If you can show affection for your romantic partner(s) in public without fear of ridicule or violence, please take one step forward.
If one of your parents was laid off or unemployed involuntarily, please take one step back.
If your family ever had to move because they could not afford to pay the rent or mortgage, please take one step back.
If you were often embarrassed or ashamed of your clothes or house while you were growing up, please take one step back.
If your parents or guardians attended college, take one step forward.
If you have ever felt as though members of your community were feared or unwanted members of American society, please take one step back.
If you grew up or currently live in a place where you experience(d)/witness(ed) violent crime, political conflict, or state brutality, take one step back.
If you ever felt that you were being discriminated against by a health-care provider, please take one step back.
If you ever tried to change your appearance, speech, or mannerisms to gain more credibility, please take one step back.
If you studied the culture of your ancestors in school (and if your family’s history and customs were/are part of your Jewish education), please take a step forward.
If your native language is not English, please take one step back.
If you have ever experienced oppression or discrimination because you are Jewish, take one step back.
If you have ever been excluded from a group or denied work because of your mobility or health (physical or mental), take one step back.
If your experience of Jewish culture, religion, or identity is outside of the Jewish mainstream, please step back.
If you have felt excluded (or been physically excluded) from Jewish spaces because of your race, gender, class, sexual orientation, or any other factor, take a step back.
If you have been told “you don’t look/sound/act Jewish” by a member of your community or anyone else, take a step back.
If you live/have lived in a community where your Jewish identity is respected, and your needs were met (in terms of days off for holidays, dietary restrictions, etc.), take one step forward
Writing exercise (to be done before the call):
Please take 10 or so minutes to reflect about these statements and your responses to them. You can use the questions above as a guide to your response. We are going to discuss these responses in the call.