16 Building Liberatory Movement Cultures — IfNotNow (Helen Bennett, Michal David, & Ilana Lerman)

This week we’re talking with IfNotNow leaders Ilana Lerman, Helen Bennett, and Michal David. We talk culture design as a key component of movement building, including dealing with internalized oppression as a community, guarding against appropriation as people search for belonging, the role of song and ritual, celebrating and supporting leadership, the complexities of organizing the Jewish community, and more.


This is our weekly time to uplift community voices celebrating people, organizations, and communities that are embodying the values of healing justice. For a sliding scale donation, you can submit your own personal shout-out to spread love on the airwaves. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR AFFIRMATIONhttps://healingjustice.typeform.com/to/YjvuU2

This week, Alexandra lifts up her friend & IfNotNow coordinator Emily, and Dan shouts out Keturah, Dalida, and Adiel of the I Have a Future Movement. Thank you for sharing community love!



Download the corresponding practice called “Leading Movement Songs with Intention” to learn some best practices in leading group song - including honoring lineage, guarding against appropriation, skilled coordination of group teaching and singing, and WHY songs are critical for movement building.

Check out IfNotNow’s comprehensive song collection on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/ifnotnow

Listen on RadioPublic / Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Stitcher

Transcript coming soon!


About our guests

IfNotNow is a movement founded and led by young Jews working to transform the American Jewish Community’s support for the Occupation in Israel/Palestine into a call for freedom and dignity for all Palestinians and Israelis. www.ifnotnowmovement.org

Ilana Lerman’s ashkenazi family flooded her life with song and tradition, as well as a commitment to facing injustice with a fierceness. Ilana is blessed to have been one of the early mischief-makers in IfNotNow and is currently the Spiritual & Cultural Life Organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace and co-leads a Jewish liberatory singing retreat called Let My People Sing!

Michal David spends her days working through a trauma-informed lens to support the healing and growth of youth experiencing homelessness. As a volunteer organizer for IfNotNow and an Arab Jew, Michal nurtures leaders to build movement culture rooted in interdependence, and creates spaces that are liberatory for Jews of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Helen Bennett is a community organizer, trainer, and spiritual director who loves to help people remember how much it’s worth it to trust and depend on each other. As a volunteer organizer for IfNotNow, Helen leads on culture as strategy, which means experimenting with intuitive ways to keep rooted and also grow while prioritizing personal and collective healing, support, and transformation.


Check out the incredible guests and topics we'll be featuring coming up and sign up for the email list to hear when new episodes drop at www.healingjustice.org

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Mixed and produced by Zach Meyer at the COALROOM

All visuals contributed by Josiah Werning

Intro and closing music gifted by Danny O’Brien

Kate Werninghealing, justice