New Jewish Agenda (1980-1992) was a national membership organization with the slogan “a Jewish voice among progressives and a progressive voice among Jews.” NJA practiced participatory grassroots democracy with over 45 local chapters, and organized for justice through National Taskforces on Middle East Peace, Worldwide Nuclear Disarmament, Economic and Social Justice, Central American Solidarity, and Jewish Feminism. NJA took radical stances on the rights of Palestinians and Queer Jews, and organized a Jewish presence in movements throughout the 1980s. NJA’s work included: petitioning the Council of Jewish Federations for a Settlement Freeze on the West Bank in 1983, organizing synagogues to join the Sanctuary Movement for Central American refugees, discrediting Reagan’s attempts to mobilize Jewish support for the Contras, working in solidarity with anti-Apartheid activists, and organizing a successful dialogue between Jewish, African-American, and Arab women for the 1985 UN Decade for Women NGO Forum. Jewish activists from a wide range of religious and secular communities coalesced in NJA, building power and analysis that continue to illuminate progressive Jewish activism.
This is #82 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.
Abigail Miller is a designer and artist based in Brooklyn.
Ezra Nepon is a writer and archives nerd based in Philadelphia.