Mar 4, 2020

historical consciousness and wise leadership


These images are part of a monument just across the Edmond Pettus Bridge, quotes from the Book of Joshua as the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and committed themselves to historical consciousness and wise leadership.
So much more to say than can fit in this moment, and hard to realize that it was only last week that we trod upon the holy ground of Selma and Montgomery on the UJA-Federation of New York Civil Rights Mission, receiving testimony from witnesses and activists of the 60's and today. I spent this past Shabbat teaching in the #Pittsburgh Jewish community with my colleague Rabbi Aaron Meyer, the holy community of Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church - Official and Squirrel Hill Stands Against #GunViolence. These experiences not only cross-informed my consciousness but also supported some of the ongoing concerns over race that the Jewish community aspires to address. Directly from Pittsburgh, I gathered with thousands of friends in Washington, DC at the AIPAC Policy Conference (where a few UJA Civil Rights participants stole a brief moment trying to begin to process what we’d shared), and there the lessons swirling inside my heart from Selma and Montgomery and Pittsburgh also informed my perspective as I stood within an increasingly diverse snapshot of American society gathered in support of Israel. Friends, there’s beautiful work calling. I couldn’t be prouder than to be part of the response so many are giving of themselves to offer. May the coming days and weeks find you all and your families healthy, safe, thoughtful, and strengthened.