“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love them as you love yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Lev. 19:34)

There we were. Somewhere in the crowd near the trees on the western side of the State Capitol grounds. We were packed in with rainbow flags, women wearing hijabs, Christian pastors, mothers and grandmothers, babies in strollers, men and boys, bicyclists and even a few dogs.

50 or so of the estimated 50,000 strong crowd were us, Jews who traveled here on a bus from Bruceville,Texas. We came to stand on the shoulders of the generations of Jews who marched before us; for LGBT rights, for voting rights, for civil rights, against segregation, against intolerance, and against hatred.

Our weekend retreat around the Women’s March on Austin was made up of many former campers and staff members, their children, and GFC camp committee members. We shared an inspiring and joyous Erev Shabbat service led by Rabbi Amy Ross and Cantorial Soloist Sarah Avner, and we were guided in reflection and the unpacking of our experiences by NFTY-TOR Regional President Maddie Newman. We made signs, talked about the women who inspire us and for whom we march, and committed ourselves to continued action and activism. From this event, we now draw strength and fortitude to stand up when we see injustice being done, and to use our voices to ensure positive change in our country.

What we’ll take forward from the march, is the inspiration that the work of equality and inclusion is never done. Though it is not our job to complete the work, we cannot and will not ignore it. We hope that you will join us in our work towards this goal.

Enjoy this video made by Ben Lee during the event, featuring our own Camp Director, Stefani Rozen, NFTY-TOR Regional Director Mindy Michaels, and GFC Executive Director Loui Dobin.