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Meet the longtime Jewish activist behind this weekend’s voting rights marches

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JTA — Vanessa Wruble’s progressive activism burst into public consciousness in late 2018 when she withdrew from the Women’s March, the progressive organization founded in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, citing antisemitism she said she experienced within the group’s leadership.

Since then, Wruble, who is Jewish, has continued to organize progressives through a separate group, March On. This weekend, March On will draw people concerned about Republican-led efforts to limit voting access to rallies in Washington, DC, Atlanta and dozens of other communities across the country, as well as online.

The Union for Reform Judaism, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Anti-Defamation League are among the many organizations supporting the march, and Randi Weingarten, the American Federation of Teachers president who is married to a rabbi and says Jewish values animate her activism, is speaking in Washington. Organizers said late Friday that Rabbi Jonah Pesner, who heads the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, would speak on the main stage Saturday afternoon, as well.

The rally, which kicks off a push to register 2 million voters in advance of the 2022 midterm elections, is timed to the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington when Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, galvanizing the civil rights movement. Wruble said the voting rights push is an extension of that movement, which included substantial Jewish participation.

“This is our struggle. This is the most important thing we can fight for right now,” Wruble told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “And this march is very welcoming to all people, including the Jewish community.”

We spoke with........

© The Times of Israel

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