Schmooze Vol. 1 Issue 3:
v AJP and US

Ester/Esti Cole, Board member and Chair of Education

It is exciting to contribute to this newsletter. Our story started with a small group of us coming together as members of the APA Council of Representatives, advocating for the inclusion of its Jewish members in the One APA EDI Tent. I nicknamed us JEDI – Jewish EDI. With Anti-Semitism on the rise, we highlighted the organization’s Strategic Plan and the Resolutions developed and passed in Council designed to eradicate racism, to include our minoritized status amongst its growing inclusive culture and impact on deliverables. Our work developed organically and gradually became the foundation for the conceptual basis for AJP. 

With our rich and long-term experience in psychology and leadership, being Jewish evolved into heart-mind connections, endless discussions, and reciprocal consultations. Borrowing from Hillel, “if I am not for myself..”, we are collectively walking our talk. Against the backdrop of  the current tragic war in Israel,  AJP Board members are working tirelessly in this highly politicized atmosphere to develop action plans, as well as to provide a forum for those who may feel marginalized and excluded by current events. 

When you visit our website you will find growing lists of resources that may be of assistance, as well as our Mission Statement. We plan to develop evidence-based research to better understand Anti-Semitism, as well as to educate systems and stakeholders about its impacts on people’s being across various age-groups. Using our process skills and knowledge bases as psychologists promises to influence both proactive and reactive prevention initiatives.

My “Ten Commandments” for AJP members are:

  1. Believe in collaborative advocacy that promotes added value to your psychology networks.
  2. Mentor your non-Jewish and Jewish colleagues alike about AJP’s raison d’etre.
  3. Review the Strategic Plan in your system and scan it through an AJP lens.
  4. Celebrate your peers’ successes and contributions to improving the inclusive environment for all.
  5. “Call it when you see it” in ways that cause others to reflect upon their attitudes and misperceptions.
  6. Be mindful not to become discouraged when the road ahead appears blocked.
  7. Celebrate successes and share them with others through this newsletter.
  8. Believe in our collective resilience as part of human rights and social justice.
  9. Reflect from time to time on Pangloss’ dictum about “cultivating our own garden”.
  10. Use social media and other modes of communication “to keep those cards and letters coming”.

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