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PHOTO ESSAY: Jerusalem protest

The experience of racism isn’t mine to tell, but it is my time to listen in on others’ stories, time to grow outspoken, time to raise the standards of respect

I was asked to blog these photos.

I fought against writing anything — can’t I just post the pictures? — this isn’t my story to tell.

I am a Jewish, white, mom in Jerusalem.

I am not a black man getting pulled over by cops in Chicago for a broken taillight, scared for my life.

I am not a black mother, raising my children to make eye contact, keep your hood down, don’t hold your wallet.

Nor a black grandmother, despairing over the never ending cycles of racism and protests, marches and bill passing — nothing that seems to make anything better.

But no matter the country, or the context, I realize I have been complicit.

I have heard slurs and words spoken over cholent at the shul kiddush. I’ve heard teachers in school make snide degrading comments. I’ve read comics geared towards ultra-Othodox children with racist stereotypes and tropes.

As a Jewish white mom born and raised in Los Angeles, raising my children in Israel, this isn’t my story to tell, but it is my time — time to listen in to others’ experiences, and listen out in my own environments. Time to grow outspoken and stubborn, to raise the standards and raise respect wherever possible.

Today, my dear friend, Batyah Delmoor, led a local Jerusalem protest.

As we gathered with our cardboard signboards, kneeled together in introspection, and soul-danced in the park, I was struck wordless, awed and humbled by the outpouring of support.

Jerusalem is a city rife with international conflict, and today, right in the heart-center of this city, every spectrum of the religious and political divides came together in a passionate and peaceful protest against police brutality.

Today we affirmed that we cannot stay silent when an autistic boy is shot on his way to school, that Jews and Arabs — and even yes, settlers and left-wingers — can come together and say we need #JusticeforIyad.

We cannot watch the news and simply change the channel when yet another black man is killed under police custody, that nothing matters until Black Lives Matter.

I hope, and pray — and commit to actionable steps as well — that today marks a change, where we stand up for human rights. Where our actions, large and small, create a better world.

About the Author
Tzipora is a photographer whose art is dedicated to the inspiring forces in her life: family, feminism, and Judaism. she resides in Jerusalem where she creates, narrates, and advocates all while raising her beautiful brood.
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