Friday, February 23, 2018
This week, once again, we are in shock and mourning in the aftermath of the heinous murder of seventeen students and teachers in a Florida high school. We mourn for the dead, whose lives have beenrabbiunconscionably cut short for no apparent reason. We mourn for their families, especially the parents and siblings, whose lives have been irreparably shattered. And we are in shock at the failure of our government - a government willing to accept more than two dozen school shootings so far this year - and doing absolutely nothing to solve the problem.
 
And yet, despite our sadness and disbelief, the next generation offers us hope and possibility. Last weekend, our education consultant, Rachel Mersky Woda, and I accompanied six of our Confirmation students to Washington D.C. for the Religious Action Center's (the political arm of the Reform Movement) unique program of Jewish education, lobbying and bonding. We joined more than 500 Reform Jewish teenagers from around the nation, as we learned about the most important issues of the day, from both a Jewish and political perspective. Our students prepared lobbying speeches, and then spoke with staff members from the offices of Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, and Representative Ciccilini.
 
They spoke with eloquence and passion about climate change, immigration reform, hunger, and reproductive rights. Our young people were not just impressive because of their command of the issues, their poise and maturity. They were also impressive because of their commitment and faith in our government as a force for good in the world; a belief that we are still capable of solving society's most complex problems. In the wake of national tragedy and rampant government dysfunction, surely we must be buoyed by the spirit and optimism of our youth. Perhaps their example will one day heal this broken world.

 

 

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