At JFREJ, teshuvah refers to our process of addressing harm through our values of justice and care for the sake of repair and transformation. To us, teshuvah is: accountable, not punitive; communal, not individual; and measured by our collective ability to regularly check if our actions align with JFREJ’s values and principles. In 2020, JFREJ formed Team Teshuvah: Community Care & Accountability, guided by transformative justice (TJ) frameworks to build out JFREJ's process for addressing conflict and reducing harm within the organization.

From 2020 to 2022, the team learned from experienced TJ practitioners and sought to learn from past conflict and harm in order to inform our community-wide policies and practices moving forward. In May 2021, the team helped design JFREJ’s first organization-wide database policy to address and seek to prevent naming errors in our communications. In October 2021, the team hosted JFREJ’s first TJ training for the wider membership. In addition, the team worked to carefully tease out and explore the many opportunities and challenges that exist at JFREJ — and in our wider movement — in shifting our internal culture to one where nobody is disposable, and where our commitment to abolition and care is practiced in everyday interactions with one another.

In May 2022, the team stepped back to take stock of their learnings. The key takeaways include, how slow the work can and needs to be, especially if done with integrity; how important it is not to let it go; and how critical it is to include a wide range of voices in these efforts. We believe transformative justice is a path toward abolition — which means ending white supremacy, economic inequity, classism, patriarchy, ableism, and all forms of systemic violence and oppression. As we shape the next chapter of our collective efforts to integrate TJ at JFREJ, we remain committed to building a culture of teshuvah at JFREJ.