I never thought of myself as an activist. I am a mother, a lover, film scholar, birthworker. I am many things packed into one human being. As I think we all are, multifaceted creatures. Did I mention I am jewish? Well, here is where things recently started getting murky.
I spent the first half of my life blissfully unaware what being jewish would come to mean to me. It was a given, wrapped in challah braiding on Friday afternoons and a string of extra holidays throughout the year. Rolling into adulthood I started actively seeking out a community of other jews. To fit into. To be a jew amongst other jews. And whatever else I was amongst the others of my life.
Through a string of consequentialities I am now a Landecker Democracy Fellow, in the inaugural cohort of what is an attempt by Humanity in Action and the Alfred Landecker Foundation to promote community initiatives that foster healthy democracies in various countries around the world.
As a fellow I will be working on mobilizing jewish activism while simultaneously creating a safe environment for jews in the progressive intersectional activist spaces. In doing so I find myself faced with questions, dilemmas, assumptions, stale harmful rhetoric, historical trauma resurfacing, rusted stereotypes blasting back from the past, and a force majeure that digs the status quo a bit too much to my liking. Inside the jewish community and outside of it. At the core of the activist movement and woven throughout the fabric of Dutch society at large.
It seems that I have now willfully thrown myself into the web of complexities of being jewish in the Netherlands and having an opinion. I will reflect on my (fellowship) days here in an attempt to make sense of the world. And my voice within it.