Isolated But Not Lonely: The feminist way to handle the coronavirus

Updated: Jan 7

By: Ofra Gazit, Dror Israel’s Educators’ Kibbutz in Rehovot. Published in:

Ofra Gazit, member of Dror Israel’s Educators’ Kibbutz in Rehovot, writes here about the

Leading the community during the pandemic

Social Justice Community in Rehovot, which quickly organized at the onset of the crisis to lend a helping hand in the city, out of a commitment to nobody having to be truly alone. She explains why this program is a feminist model.

Feminism is social justice. Maybe that sounds like a simplistic position to hold, but I’ll soon explain what I mean and why this has the potential for deep change.

Leading the community during normal times

For five and half years, I have been a member of Rehovot’s Social Justice Community and one of its leaders. The Social Justice Community was born spontaneously out of the social protests of 2011, and is made up of women and men of all ages, sectors, and political opinions in Rehovot.

When the protest tent here (the fourth largest in the country) was taken down almost nine years ago, a group of a few dozen different and diverse women and men came together who felt that their work was not done, that social justice cannot be achieved over one summer in a tent, and that something foundational had changed in how they understood reality, socio-economic policy and politics.

So how do you achieve social justice? And why is it simplistic to say that social justice is feminist? Here I want to give a current example which is connected – of course – to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday night, three days before I was put on unpaid leave, I met with my good friend Shiri, one of the founders of the Social Justice Community (who doesn’t even know that she’s a feminist), together with two more partners of ours. We talked about how to be responsible for and care for people in isolation with limited human contact.