Inner Peace, Outer Peace

As part of Celebrate Brandeis, our response to the Westboro Baptist Church, the Justice League would like to cordially invite everyone to a meditation session.

Emily Peterson and I will be leading a meditation group at 9am on the Great Lawn, SCC. Many wonderful and creative events will be happening on Friday, and will showcase the talents of the Brandeis community. As part of Friday morning’s activities, we believe it is equally important to celebrate inner peace.

Open meditation is available for everyone, and I would love for you to attend!

How you can get involved

Megan Straughan was sent this out as facebookmail for the “Celebrate Brandeis committee” event. Everyone should have a chance to read this and learn how to get involved.

Thanks to everyone for their participation so far and the hard work coming up! Now is the time for everyone to put themselves into event planning for the response to the WBC protest of the Brandeis Hillel and community!

Quick updates first:
This morning we met with several administrators, including Ed Callahan (Director of Public Safety) and Andrew Gully (Senior Vice President Communications and External Affairs). While they voiced concerns, they were overwhelmingly supportive of the cause and of students. We discussed the safety and security of all Brandeis community members and our goal of focusing on celebrating Brandeis and refusing to give in to what WBC wants.

The following plans for the day have been reached:
-8:30-9:30: Celebrate Brandeis festival (Great Lawn)

-9:30-4: Campus-organized events in the SCC

-Hillel’s Shabbat Dinner will be open to the campus

-Daniel will work with Public safety to send a message to the campus about security measures and protocols for the event.

And now it’s time for all of us to create the evens of the day! We ask that over the break all of you work in your breakout groups, go back to your clubs, and start collaborating with peers to create events for the festival and for the period between the festival and the Shabbat dinner. After the break we’ll have another campus-wide meeting to check in on plans and logistics.

We would love to see groups collaborating! E-mail Mark Hajjar ( with ideas, and we will help with logistics and resources such as room reservations.

The point-people for each breakout group (established in the first community-wide meeting) are listed below. We would love to see new people joining them! If you’d like to create a different breakout group, send an e-mail to, and I’ll send your info out to the group to get things started.

Thanks so much for your passion and commitment! Have a wonderful break!

Megan Straughan

Safety: Daniel Achempong (

Fundraising: Morgan Gross (
Chaya Ariel Bender (

Media: Rachel Goldfarb (

First Hour/Festival: Erica Shaps (

Day of Events: Mark Hajjar (
Matt Zunitch (
Hannah Pollack (

Something you can do to help!

Sahar has noted to many people have been reaching out to him asking what he can do to help with the events being planned for December 3rd. My name is Rachel Goldfarb, and somehow I’ve ended up in charge of the media/outreach campaign for this whole thing, and I need your help!

Last night, we discussed getting our various groups on campus involved in the events on December 3rd. We’d like to start asking club leaders to forward the “commitment to celebrate” statement to their lists, and see what groups are interested in co-sponsoring or organizing events for the day. What clubs are you involved in? If you can contact a club leader for us, we’ll be eternally grateful!

So here’s the deal: you should email your club leader explaining what’s going on so far, how they can get involved, and asking whether their club is interested. CC me on the email (rgoldfarb @, remove the spaces) so that I can keep track of which clubs have and have not been contacted so far. If you’re not sure what to tell your club leader, send me an email and I’ll give you a sample email to edit according to that club’s needs. Thanks so much for your help!

Picking up steam

In less than 12 hours, we have 168 signatures saying:
“Yo, these WBC people are lame and mockable. So let’s respond to their hate with a celebration of how much we love each other / Brandeis. And also – Hillel, TRISK, everyone else attacked by these dudes – we got your back”

Or saying something like that.

Lots of people have been emailing and texting me asking how to get involved in party planning. Keep it up! More info on legit party planning to come out tonight, or tomorrow morning, pending a couple meetings.

I need someone reasonably computer-savvy for a special mission ASAP. Shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. Let me if you’re interested. If you don’t know how to contact me, let me know in the comments.

Student Union Senate endorsed the letter. That means we got Hillel, Student Union E-Board, and the Student Union Senate. Once we get Jehuda onboard, we can claim a monopoly and build hotels. 🙂

We’ve also hit the recommended list on Blue Mass Group.

Keep it up! This is happening!

Now – I’m going to spend the rest of today figuring out a structure for people to plan their parties and where to point people to when they ask how they can be involved.


In response to all this Fred Phelps business, people have been emailing me about their experiences with the WBC back in the day. I really liked this one:

You probably already know that the Phelpses try to provoke violent or otherwise illegal responses from counter protesters/citizens/whomever and then sue the communities or institutions that didn’t do a good enough job protecting them in exercising their First Amendment rights. In Lexington, the town manager’s office organized an official community counter protest (the parents and other concerned people linked hands, stood between the protesters and the school, and then turned their backs on them for the duration of the protest). They brought in volunteer outside experts to help organize and teach them how to do a peaceful counter-protest.

As the Lexington protest and counter-protest got underway, a couple of police officers who were patrolling the area met an older man who was walking towards the high school. They started to explain about the Phelpses and he interrupted: “I know. That’s where I’m going. I’m a Korean War vet. These people have disrespected my comrades at their funerals, and now they’re after my kids. I’ve had enough.” And he held up a big box of eggs he planned to throw. The officers explained the nonviolent plan and the reason for it. When they told him how many counter protesters there were, a big smile spread across his face, saluted them, and turned around.


Thought I’d share.

Westboro Baptist PARTY UPDATE

So you may be aware that Innermost Parts is a project of a Brandeis club called The Justice League.
We’re thinking of holding a general meeting for all campus to plan our response. 10pm Sunday. Good idea? Would you go to that?

Here is every idea from the comments and facebook event so far:

Which ones do you like? What would you like to add?

– Buy a bus/carpool and follow them during the day
– Dance the Hora around for the entire visit
– Kissathon
– Party
– Fundraiser
– Sing songs of counterculture (RENT, internet is for porn, etc)
– Glitter
– Rickroll
– Don’t pay attention
– Free Kippas and Rainbow flags

Longer ideas:

  • Let’s make it really positive! Let’s make it about what a great place Brandeis is, and not about WBC at all! We should do charity donations and channuka songs, like people mentioned!
  • I think it is very important that we organize a response that celebrates Brandeis diversity and pluralism rather than attack the group itself
  • Let’s reclaim this campus as a home for the sexually liberated and put on a good show.
  • We should just make a big circle around them with our backs turned toward them. And fart a lot in their general direction
  • Use cardboard/other materials to build a genuine MEDIA CONTROLLING DEVICE on the Great Lawn. Make a lot of aerials and knobs and stuff. Then go at it, controlling the media through secret, clandestine connections.
  • I leave these tools at your disposal. While it may seem funny, in all seriousness I urge you: WHAT SETS THESE PEOPLE APART IS THEIR UTTER LACK OF SUBTLETY AND LACK OF CREATIVITY. This means whatever you do has to be subtle, creative, and, (the one attribute I suggest you mimic) ludicrous.
  • CRAZY-SIGNS: Everyone bring a picketing sign or a poster, but DO NOT COORDINATE what they will be, and then full-heartedly devote yourself to supporting the signs other people bring as well as your own, expounding their virtues to the utmost.
  • Cake Party: If you really want a party, get a lot of cake. Then everyone should eat cake, and only be allowed to say the word cake. This will be silly for three minutes, and funny after five, and eventually if you can be louder than them but only say the word cake then it will be epic.