Banner illustration for the 2018 JFREJ awards

Last week our community came together in its full breadth and diversity to celebrate with us at a moving, inspiring, and successful JFREJ Awards. Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Awards, joined the Host Committee, volunteered, or partied with us from afar. If you were with us, we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did — and if you couldn’t join us, we hope this report back gives you a flavor of the evening. Thanks to you, JFREJ raised more than ever, over $120,000! We’re grateful to everyone who helped to make this year’s Awardsthe inspiring success that it was.

The JFREJ Awards are always a beautiful opportunity to lift our spirits and feed our souls with music and art, and to recognize the power that comes when we “choose solidarity as our highest expression of humanity,” as our Executive Director, Audrey Sasson, said on Wednesday night.

Enjoy pictures from the event here!

Black and white photo of the justice committee
Justice Committee receiving their award from presenters The Peace Poets

Highlights from the event include:

Marisa Franco, the founding director of Mijente, reminded us that “poetry happens in mass actions, when people come together. Wild ideas only get you so far. What gets you farther is wild people.” Watch a clip from her speech here.

The Peace Poets got us all singing, “Nobody’s free, til everybody’s free” to honor the incredible work that Justice Committee does and has been doing for the past 30 years centering justice for families of people killed by the NYPD.

Photo of Lori Brooks with Laura Wernick
Lori Brooks and awardee Laura Wernick

Awardee Laura Wernick illustrated the power and importance of building relationships by showing how people bring others into this movement one person at a time — by asking the audience to recognize those who had brought them in, and then inspiring those who they in turn had welcomed in to the organization.

Awardee Ruby Sales spoke with love and told us that “our task is to move forward with pragmatic optimism, calling out the moral and social ills of white supremacy while at the same time believing in our capacity to destabilize the culture of whiteness.”

Photo of Stacyann Chin and Ruby Sales
Presenter Stacyann Chin and awardee Ruby Sales

Master of Ceremonies Barbara Smith guided us through the evening and ended on this note:

This is what courage looks like.
This is what solidarity looks like.
This is what compassion looks like.
This is what freedom fighting looks like.
This is what ethics looks like.
This is what love looks like.
This is what JFREJ looks like.
Photo of MC Barbara Smith
M.C. Barbara Smith

Thank you again for making the JFREJ Awards such a success, I can hardly wait to celebrate with all of you again next year.


Nikki Morse
Director of Development, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice

If you are fulfilling a Host Committee or ad pledge, please do so here. You can also make your year-end gift today to ensure that we can continue building community in the fight for a more just world. I’m so inspired by our community and look forward to continuing to imagine boldly what solidarity can be.