Last winter, during the Q&A portion of a panel I’d participated in at B’nai Jeshurun, a synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a 5-year-old Black girl’s question punctuated the evening’s conversation with a question that pierced my heart like an arrow.
By WHP Alexander Yaroslavsky (New York RSJ 16)
As I watched the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests across our country and the world, I recalled Rabbi Paley’s introduction to Tikun Olam during my cohort’s first Wexner retreat. If ever there was a need for repair, it is now. Based on my experience, it is a tough road. Acknowledging that the dice are loaded in my favor was counterintuitive. It was not my daily experience.
A comfortable, well-educated, straight White male rabbi walks into a multiracial family. That’s not a joke – it’s my spiritual autobiography. Though every story is unique, “comfortable” does describe many of us who grew up White and Jewish. We rarely knew how advantaged we were, in myriad subtle ways, how much likelier we were to achieve success, thanks to something as random as skin tone and how hard others would
I have always disliked MLK Day. To be more precise, I have always disliked attending most commemorations of MLK Day. This has nothing to do with the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rather, it is bound up with the peculiar cultural whiplash that I have experienced year after year attending ceremonies on MLK Day. Let me explain. As a middle class Black child, my parents made any number
An international collaboration to provide vital health care across borders More than 90 percent of the water in Gaza has been deemed unfit for human consumption. Coupled with food insecurity and poverty this means that most residents’ physical well-being is consistently compromised. Gaza’s civilians in need of basic or more complex medical services struggle with a system that lacks the necessary physical infrastructure to serve its population. The limited availability
There was always an intriguing dichotomy between the late President Shimon Peres’ ability to bring to reality his vision for the future of Israel. On the one hand, it had been seemingly quite easy for Peres to lead Israel to the forefront of science and technology, but on the other hand, so much harder to lead Israel towards peace. What was it that made Peres and those who subscribed to
I should have been on the Appalachian Trail right now. My plans to hike the 2,100-mile footpath from Georgia to Maine were pretty much foolproof, or so I thought. As the nothing-but-COVID news notifications amassed on my phone, my heart began to sink with sobering disappointment – no, I would not be hiking in 2020. This prospective adventure controlled every part of my life in the best of ways. Not
“On this zillionth day of quarantine, I am feeling a bit lonely and despairing,” I shared on Facebook in a blue jag one afternoon a few weeks ago. Before the pandemic, my Facebook posts were carefully curated. I learned from my son to be cautious online. Where my prompt invitingly reads: “What’s on your mind, Serena?” he changed his to say, “This is a corporate ploy to monetize your identity.”
The experiences, opportunities and insights I gained during this crisis went far beyond anything I could have imagined. The division I head is responsible for marketing, publicity and service provision to Maccabi members via three channels: digital, phone and frontal. Thus, there was not a single process which the division wasn’t either leading or significantly involved in. We found ourselves, to an unprecedented degree, able to influence perceptions and moods, as well
Early on during the Pandemic, I learned the term the term “moral fatigue.” In short, we used to make a million inconsequential decisions every day. These things were so inconsequential, we probably wouldn’t even identify them as decisions: “deciding to” go to the grocery store, dropping off food at a friend’s house, washing our hands, … leaving our homes. And now, because of the possible impact of some of those