Tonight is the start of Hanukkah, a celebration of hope and persistence in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Jewish holidays — even Hanukkah, with its complex historical roots — offer us an opportunity to find our individual and collective resilience. And what better way to do that than with presents?
Here’s Bend the Arc's Hanukkah Gift Guide with eight (free!) gifts for our multiracial movement. It’s perfect to read as you light candles. Or take a moment now to invite in the warmth of Hanukkah.
1. Our bodies: Our bodies carry the memories and weight of the past, and they are stronger for it. We physically remember our communities and families overcoming struggle — it’s in our bones and our hearts. When we harness our memories of strength, we make room in our bodies for moving into new futures and new liberated possibilities.
2. Our resilience: The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. In every generation, our safety and freedom has expanded because of love, commitment, and perseverance. We remind ourselves of our history of resilience to affirm that we are prepared to face today’s challenges and those to come
3. Our partners: Through our relationships, we find light in the darkest of times. Our partners, neighbors, and allies are the erev rav (mixed multitude) of our dreams — a multiracial, multigenerational, democratic community. Our futures are shared and enriched by mutual care and responsibility. When we act together, we can defeat those who would try to divide us.
4. Our ancestors: We are here today because our ancestors found a roadmap for their future, our present. We are shaped by their struggles and their decisions. We carry and build on their traditions, songs, stories, and more to forge new paths towards joy and liberation — knowing that we are the ancestors for generations to come.
5. Our teachers: Like candles, our teachers light the way forward. The pursuit of knowledge and wisdom gives us the tools to understand the past and to create our collective liberated future. We each have knowledge to share, and what we do not yet know, we can learn.
6. Our Jewish practices: When we stay curious and in conversation with each other, we can find new meaning in even the oldest practices. Just as our sages pored over texts and traditions, we continue to be inspired by what Judaism teaches us — how it grounds and commits us in the pursuit of justice.
7. Our vision: We share a vision, a North Star, of a country free from white supremacy, where Black liberation is realized, and all people are thriving. Holding this vision, and knowing that we share it with our friends and neighbors, brings us closer every day to the world we want to see. The vision belongs to all of us, and Jewish communities have a role to play in moving toward our vision in solidarity.
8. Our organizing: We have a path to create the future we want and deserve. We are powerful as a multiracial Jewish community, and together we can influence the communities and country around us. We can invest in new systems, structures, and governance that support each of us to thrive. The possibilities of what we will build are endless, and they will continue to grow with our power.
These are only a handful of the gifts we are grateful for within our communities and in our movement work. What gifts are you thinking about this Hanukkah, and what gifts will you be sharing with your loved ones? Write back to let us know.
The Bend the Arc Team