Standing Together (Sermon from Yom Kippur, 2019)

rabbi hannah Oct 11, 2019

            During the summer I asked my friend Kim what gives her hope.  She replied: “Hah!  You are asking the wrong person.”  She told me that she has just about given up on this country and is thinking of moving to Europe. She is not naive. She understands that other countries are not perfect, but as a Black woman she feels the need to get out from under the particularly insidious ways that racism in America affects her life.

            It made me sad to hear that Kim has given up on America. I can’t pretend to know what it is like to live in her skin, but for myself, I could never leave. I tried living in Israel, but it was not my story. My story is here, in this country that is my home, and that continues to struggle to live up to its own ideals. As discouraged as I sometimes feel, I know that I have to try, in whatever ways I can figure out, to move us a...


10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation About What Matters

A main function of the Social Action Committee is to facilitate conversations and action to address society’s challenges. We are involved in addressing food insecurity (SHIP, BRIDGES), helping refugees adapt to life in the U.S. (tutoring Syrian refugees), recycling plastic (Bags to Benches), racial justice (Race Dialogue Circles), and building community bonds (Fountain of Hope Storytelling Project). 

It’s often lamented how fragmented and polarized civil discourse has become. Discussing the weather and your health used to be considered safe topics, but we’re in such a state now that even those topics can lead to tense conversations.

If we can’t talk about the problems we’re experiencing in society, how will we solve them? Perhaps our biggest problem is that we’ve stopped listening to each other. Journalist and interviewer Celeste Headlee gave a TED talk in which she offered 10 tips for a better conversation. We’d like to share them...

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