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About Us

The Project Shema team

Who we are

Project Shema is a training and support organization focused on addressing contemporary antisemitism with an emphasis on how anti-Jewish ideas and implicit biases can be carried alongside conversations about Israel and Palestine.


We do not offer education or advocacy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, we do help upstanders understand Jewish identity and nurture empathy for Jewish traumas and lived experiences.

Built by progressive Jews, our programs focus on depolarizing difficult conversations around anti-Jewish harm to strengthen allyship for and within the Jewish community.

Our approach

The word shema comes from the Hebrew word “to hear,” and it’s this concept that guides everything we do. We are a team with diverse identities who have invested our lives in uplifting vulnerable communities. 

Listening with curiosity and compassion is at the center of our relational engagement approach. Our goal is to help others understand Jews’ stories, identities and lived experiences.

The Project Shema team
The Project Shema team

Our focus

We recognize that there are some people with malice toward Jews in every movement.

We need new ways to engage peers who don't wish to harm the Jewish people, but may accidentally perpetuate anti-Jewish harm. This shift requires relationships and nuance.


We have to transcend binaries, demonstrate allyship, and call out all dehumanizing language, including about Palestinians, Muslims, and Arabs.

Our Principles

We are guided by these principles, and seek to embed them in all the work we do


We believe in relational organizing, not transactional coalition building

We believe in relational organizing, not transactional coalition building. Relationships are two-way streets and are imperfect. Relationships allow space for failure so long as there is genuine accountability and commitment to growth.


We seek to create understanding within and about our community

We seek to ensure our community understands the concerns of others and communicates our concerns in ways that can be better understood by those who don't know our full history.


We believe engagement requires listening and understanding

We believe productive engagement across communal lines requires hearing each other's voices and understanding each other's concerns, as they exist today, in order to build and/or restore trust.


We believe in fighting antisemitism wherever it occurs

While the immediate threat antisemitism poses is not equal in all spaces, we must fight it regardless of which political party or community it comes from. We must also distinguish between a lack of awareness or understanding and actual anti-Jewish bigotry, and respond accordingly.

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Red and Blue Illustrated Shana Tova Facebook Post (2)_edited.png


We believe fighting antisemitism requires fighting white supremacy

We believe our community must fight against white supremacy in America. While antisemitism isn't limited to one community, we must recognize that antisemitism is an animating force of modern white supremacist movements, that it presents a uniquely dangerous threat, and that as white supremacy rises so too will antisemitism. We must stand up for all who may be attacked by these forces.


We don't tolerate demonization or dismissal of anyone's lived reality

We do not tolerate any attempt to demonize, delegitimize, or erase the narratives, history, trauma, and lived reality of marginalized and historically targeted communities.


We reject the notion you must either support Israel or Palestine

We reject the notion that one must either support Israel or Palestine. We long for a future that honors and protects the dignity, national aspirations, and individual and collective wellbeing of Palestinians and Israelis. The very foundation of a mutually agreeable solution requires honoring the trauma, needs and rights of both peoples.


We approach this work with humility

We recognize that the status quo creates structural barriers which deny Palestinians dignity, safety, and many fundamental rights. And, we recognize the real, present, and persistent threats to the life of Jews in Israel and around the world. We understand that fully reconciling these inherent contradictions is incredibly difficult.

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