Posted on: January 9, 2017
I wrote the following blog post for Repair the World about the idea of praying with our legs in 2017 (and the next 4 years) with the upcoming trump administration and the world of hurt it’s already raining down.
Yes, I said legs, not feet.
Hundreds of years before Heschel talked about praying with his feet when he marched with Dr. King, Frederick Douglass, a black man and former slave, said he prayed with his legs when talking about escaping slavery for freedom. MLK Day and Heschel always has me a little hot, it’s infuriating that we post pictures of King and Heschel on that famous mark, it’s annoying that I get the most inquiries to write and speak during MLK weekend and Black History Month (which is not why I wrote this, Repair and I have a relationship and have been collaborating for several months). It is my hope in writing this article that as Jews we are inspired by King and Douglass and that we don’t just say words, but we are driven into action.
The next four years will change American history, it’s up to us if it’s for the better of for the worst. Below is how I ended my blog post, a list of action items if you will. Read the entire post here.
The following list is incomplete, but it’s a good place to start for white Jews looking to make racial and social justice a focus beyond MLK Day.
Take a personal inventory; who is in your life? Do you have friends who are people of color? Do you have friends who are Jews of Color? If not, why do you think this is?
Take inventory of your Jewish community. Is your synagogue truly welcoming of Jews of Color? Are the materials printed inclusive in language?
Give to organizations able to do the “big work.”
Volunteer with organizations who are doing “community work.”
Join social justice groups with stronger leaders of color. If you’re not a POC, be sure to do more listening than talking.
Speak up. Racism and racial discrimination is all around us; in the jokes we hear, in usage of derogatory words like “gyp”, and it’s our responsibility to speak up when we hear these things.
As Jews we always say Never Again. Well, Never is Now