As a student of Judaism, I'm fairly well-versed in nuanced views and opinions on cultural and religious Jewish practices and Zionist attitudes within our community. When writing, I try to “stay in my lane” and stick with material I understand, focusing on organizational mission while avoiding more controversial topics. I have several colleagues to whom I turn for review of my writings and to help me address topics in a thoughtful and careful manner, especially more controversial ones.
And yet, this past week, my letter to the community was not as informed or thoughtful as it could have been.
I set out to communicate my difficulty in answering the question “How’s everything?” during a very challenging time for our country. According to positive feedback received, I accomplished that goal. On the other hand, according to some trusted and constructive critics, I also broadcasted my ignorance about some meaningful perspectives at the heart of recent calls for racial justice. Racial justice and the value of all human life are goals that are mission-critical, yet it never occurred to me that by highlighting only rioting and looting as social problems, it would convey to some readers that I am disconnected from those values. Please click here to see our Jewish community’s statement on the senseless killing of George Floyd.
I truly thank those who reached out to me to point out my need to increase my cultural literacy, but also to offer me their time and resources for education. I was able to get a few articles printed out for reading over last Shabbat, and I have engaged in several meaningful conversations since.
I will be more thoughtful moving forward, while I continue to strengthen my own understanding. I invite everyone, so inclined, to learn along with me. For your reference, we have added a Social Justice Resources page to our website.
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