Members of Kappa Lambda Epsilon at the Jan. 21 Women's March Minnesota.

Weeks Later, Women’s March Lessons Still Resonate

Not by might

and not by power.

By the spirit alone

Ruach

shall we all

live in peace.

These words are emblazoned on my memory. From summer camp to after school care to Hebrew school – this song is deep in my bones. On the day of the Women’s March, we sang it out.

Not by might

Over 60,000 protestors walked peacefully in the streets of Saint Paul. We stood at the steps of the capitol and listened to speakers from diverse backgrounds with unique ideas on how our country will move forward.

Not by power

I walked with fellow members of Kappa Lambda Epsilon. KLE is the University of Minnesota’s student group for Jewish women in search of opportunities for leadership and community building. Marching by our side was the National Council of Jewish women. Generations of Jewish women walking in the same march.

By the spirit alone

Why march?

Tikkun Olam. World correction. It’s our heritage. Our mission.

To echo the voices of my KLE sisters: we’ve seen this before. As Jews, we know to stay vigilant. When groups are ostracized for their identity, we stand with them. Our dedication to the memory of those lost in the Shoah transforms itself into activism. Furthermore, we ourselves have intersections of identities that are under threat. We are LGBTQIA+. We are students. We are poor. We need insurance. The need to speak for justice is personal; it is obligation; it is our birthright.

Shall we all live in peace.

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Caleigh Gumbiner is a TC JewFolk Guest Author

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