I spent the first night of Chanukah this year at Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA. This was the Boston-area location for the multi-city #ChanukahAction: A Jewish Day of Action to End Police Violence event. I had a number of anxieties in advance, but it proved to be a powerful evening with moments of hope and inspiration.
My concerns began with a Facebook event wall littered with infighting that I feared would travel offline to the actual event. Could we focus on one issue, and keep the focus away from ourselves? Could we raise awareness in our own community without silencing and ignoring those who have already been marginalized? I had been to a protest organized by Black Lives Matter Boston in November, organized and led by people of color. I recognized why Jews needed to rally around the cause, but it was unclear how. Frankly, could we do this without damaging the larger movement?
Via the about page:
Q. What is Alef? A. Alef: The NEXT Conversation, is a web-zine which explores Jewish identity. From memoirs on “Why I Eat What I Eat” to a soul-searching narrative on serving jury duty during the High Holidays, to a travel piece on a Passover Seder in Ghana, Alef showcases the diversity of Jewish identity through stories, pictures, poems, music, and more. Alef is published by Birthright Israel NEXT.
My blog entry was part of a series of what it means to be Jewish and growing up in an interfaith family during the holiday season. One of the other blogs that I really enjoyed was “Kosher For Christmas,” it’s a great read. Those looking to contribute to this blog should read this.