I invite all WHF members, past, present and future, to our first NYC area Sacred Rights, Sacred Song, Concert of Concern.  Come and support the creative activism of your fellow WHF member. 

Let me give a bit of background about the Sacred Rights, Sacred Song Project. Looking at Israel, from numerous vantage points, there is much to be concerned about.  I founded SRSS in 2010 with the mission to use choral music to spotlight abuses of power by narrow-minded religious authorities in Israel, with the goal of strengthening the voices of moderate democracy within our Jewish conversation.  We are proud to say, as we look back at our first five years, that we have done important work for the Modern Jewish Democracy Movement through our eight concerts and the Sh’ma Yisrael video.

The Fall of 2015/5776 presents us with an entirely new set of facts as the reality of the Iran deal settles over an already rattled Israel that is once again, enduring a wave of uncontained violence.  It is exactly at such a time that Sacred Rights, Sacred Song reasserts the importance of strengthening core democratic values within Israel so that the modern Jewish State may, IN FACT, be a Light Unto the Nations, especially in the very bad neighborhood which is the contemporary Middle East.  With the final piece under composition, I “close the canon”, so to speak, knowing that SRSS has addressed the security situation as well as the civil rights situation.  We make clear that one can, and in fact should, be concerned about both vital security issues and domestic issues. In a healthy democracy, weaknesses in the societal fabric can no longer be blamed on fears from the outside. Finally, while the fears from the outside are valid, let us remember that Oseh Shalom is a key Jewish idea.  While I am powerless with respect to making peace with our enemy right now, I do have  a creative way to help correct abuses of power within Israeli society, strengthening the moderate voice, making peace within our Jewish society.  Perhaps that spirit of tolerance will spill over to the Arab world.  First to a legitimate and responsible State of Palestine, and then perhaps beyond and even to the moderate masses of Iran. Could this be what it means to be a Light Unto the Nations in our time?

I share my thinking with you as background to this invitation to attend the first NYC area Concert of Concern on November 15 at 7 pm at Ansche Chesed, 251 W. 100th St.   Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or your own concerns.