Rabbi Jay Henry Moses
I write these words in the aftermath of the U.S. elections, as we await the “transfer of power” from one administration to the next. The fact that the customary concession of the losing candidate has been absent from this year’s process has caused a sudden awakening to a startling reality: the transition of power – and the nature of that power to begin with – relies upon the collective imagination.
Judaism was founded as an alternative to the worship of power. That’s what Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, alav hashalom, taught on Lech Lecha. “I want you, says God to Abraham, to be different. Not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of starting something new: a religion that will not worship power and the symbols of power – for that is what idols really were and
Rarely in the U.S. has the power dynamic felt more pronounced. Over the last year, while the workforce at-large has suffered, the nonprofit sector, the third largest industry in the U.S. that provides such offerings as health care and social services, has experienced severe losses. While not often thought of in the same breath as retail and manufacturing, nonprofit organizations employ 12.5 million U.S. workers and provide over $1 trillion
Delivering constructive feedback to your direct report about their disappointing progress on a project. Sharing with your colleague that you are not going to accept their proposal that they worked so hard on. Telling your friend that you would like him to wear a COVID mask when you meet for coffee. Telling your uncle that his comments aren’t inclusive of people of color. These are all situations that can lead to a difficult conversation. And figuring out whether or not you want to have
WGF/DS Alum Jordanna Amsel (Class 27)
At the 2016 JFNA GA, I had the opportunity to meet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l as she recorded a message for PJ Library families about the children’s book depicting her life, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. I was starstruck by her presence – she was small in stature yet larger than life. I was in awe of her ability to beat the odds as a Jewish woman, to
WGF/DS Alum Dr. Ari M. Gordon (Class 21)
The imperative to engage in difficult conversations – like the notion of leadership itself – is premised on the principle that change is possible. Painful relationships may be healed, challenging dynamics may be transformed and stubborn misconceptions may be upended. We take risks to reach across divides, because we believe that the way things are need not continue forevermore. For Jews, the idea that growth and change are possible is built into the fabric of our holiday cycle and our Torah. The Jewish new year commemorates the creation of the world and just after Sukkot we re-commence the cycle of Torah reading from the beginning—Parashat Bereishit. The biblical account of creation, however, is
From the very beginning, God commands us to be allies. And furthermore, one detail in the text draws our attention to a specific, fundamental form of allyship: “male and female God created them.” Or in contemporary parlance, thou shalt strive to advance the cause of gender safety and equity.
"For me, the healing message here about self-care is that my awareness of care for Self needs to be moving from outside reminder towards internal commitment, and that this goodness to/with Self is best practiced as a lifelong daily personal renewal… b’ezrat hashem – with G-d’s help."
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