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GTU Voices - Beloved Community in Land and Spirit

Beloved Community in Land and Spirit

By GTU Communications

Leora Cockrell - I am a Master of Social Change (MASC) student at Starr King School for the Ministry, and am serving my community through an internship placement with Jews on Ohlone Land (JOOL). As a queer Jew I am grateful to be living in the Bay Area on Huichin, Ohlone territory. And, I recognize that my ability to make my life and belong to community here is predicated on the genocide and removal of many Indigenous people. I also recognize that the Ohlone people were given instructions by their Creator about how to care for this specific ecosystem, and only when the land is returned to their care will everyone be able to live in right relationship with the land here.

When we are all re-connected to our heritages and respectful of the original tenders of the lands where we live, we can stop and heal generations of trauma, celebrate differences and prepare for climate disaster while working towards ecological balance.

My research focuses on Jewish relationships with land and Indigenous people in North American/Turtle Island diaspora. As an intern for JOOL, I am learning how to support politically strategic and spiritually authentic interfaith movements of relational repair with both humans and the more-than-human world. My internship furthers the mission of the GTU and addresses the most pressing issues of 2020 by supporting Jewish people as we learn both how to be good guests to the Indigenous people whose land we are on and how to re-embodying our own earth-based Jewish heritage in community. When we are all re-connected to our heritages and respectful of the original tenders of the lands where we live, we can stop and heal generations of trauma, celebrate differences and prepare for climate disaster while working towards ecological balance.

Jews on Ohlone Land (JOOL) works towards 100% Jewish participaion in Shuumi - a voluntary land tax. Shuumi supports the return of land to local indigenous people and himmetka - "Community resiliency centers to prepare for natural and human-made emergencies and mitigate the impaces of climate change" (Sogorea Te' website).

Watch Leora's interview below, and listen to the extended audio version here

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