The Susan Zukrow Mackevich Seeds of Compassion Fellowship Grows Connection between Early Jewish Education and Camp
Sometimes an outsider’s perspective yields a beautiful question. Susan Zukrow Mackevich, whose second yahrzeit was April 27, provided that kind of perspective for us at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism (ECE-RJ), and Chicago-area early childhood Jewish educators.
What if your congregation’s students learn about Jewish values and living online with Shalom LinkED once a week for 18 weeks next year and celebrate, build relationships, and learn Hebrew together during the remaining weeks? How might your congregation’s educators focus and deepen their work if some planning and teaching is taken care of by leaders in the field?
Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and other recent incidents of gun violence highlight the fact that the U.S. has been locked in a cycle of apathetic “thoughts and prayers,” while little federal action has been taken on this public safety and public health issue. We must end the helpless, apathetic cycle of “thoughts and prayers.” Enough is enough. To stand idly by and do nothing in the face of such senseless slaughter is unconscionable and antithetical to our Jewish values and beliefs. To paraphrase Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, we will pray with our marching feet and voices.
I read a quote today by Sy Smith that said, "Black people in the U.S. are expected to keep on keeping on, no matter what..."
We are sharing this update on our ethics accountability work as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, protection of every member of our community, and to the implementation of recommendations from the Debevoise & Plimpton investigation report.
The first of July is the day you can engage both new and experienced leaders on your board, help ensure they do their jobs well, and play a meaningful role in leading the congregation. With your support and guidance, your trustees can lead with wisdom informed by our shared tradition, the history of the community, and the best expertise the Reform Movement has to offer.
On Tuesday evening, we launched the Reform Movement's Every Voice, Every Vote campaign, our nonpartisan initiative to strengthen democracy by encouraging and protecting voter participation. As if this effort was not urgent enough already, the leaked draft Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization made clear that every issue of importance to our Movement is on the ballot this year, including abortion rights.
Even as we knew the Supreme Court was likely to undermine and even overturn abortion rights, to see the words in print in last night's leaked draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is shocking and painful. Here's how you can take action now.
When the URJ released the Ethics Report following the independent investigation into sexual misconduct in URJ workplaces and programs in February, we committed to implementing the recommendations and keeping our community apprised of our progress. It is in that spirit that we share this update on the key milestones and outcomes we expect to achieve over the next several months.
Almost exactly six years ago, I ran for NFTY-TOR regional president. I lost. And yet when I look back at my election materials in a bout of nostalgia, I stand by absolutely everything I said, now having seen how much the ideas I mentioned still influence me and the way I think about leadership, both personally and as an organizer working with NFTY and Reform Jewish teen leadership.