Resources & Media

Social justice group gets new name

J Weekly
April 5, 2012

Nearly one year after the social justice agencies Progressive Jewish Alliance and Jewish Funds for Justice merged into one, the resulting entity has a new name.

The organization announced this week it has chosen to call itself Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.

“A non-traditional name for a non-traditional organization,” Alan van Capelle, the organization’s CEO, said in a letter announcing the new name. “We see the role of American Jews in [social and economic] movements past and present, working in partnership for justice … But the arc of history doesn’t bend quickly. And it doesn’t bend on its own. It takes all of our passion and resolve.”

Locally, Bend the Arc has four staff members in San Francisco: Susan Lubeck, regional director; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher, community organizer; Rachel Cannon, development director; and Miriam Grant, who runs the Jeremiah Fellowship. They can be reached at (415) 248-0085.

The Progressive Jewish Alliance was founded in 1999, taking up social justice and Jewish-Muslim causes in the Bay Area and Southern California. Jewish Funds for Justice formed in 2006 through a merger of the Shefa Fund and Jewish Fund for Justice.

Bend the Arc was active this week. Its Jeremiah Fellows traveled to a prison in Chino to help incarcerated women celebrate an early Passover, and on April 4, some Bend the Arc leaders held talks with Obama administration officials about social justice issues of concern to American Jews.

For more information on Bend the Arc, visit its new website at