I’m happy to welcome Sarabeth Salzman as our new Executive Director. Throughout the selection process, Sarabeth has inspired me with her warmth, purpose, and trustworthiness. I feel we are blessed to have her - again! Sarabeth and I have talked about how good administration is like good pastoral care - both comfort. Those of you who know Sarabeth know that she will lift us up while putting us all more at ease. And, because Sarabeth is such a mission-driven professional, with a real skill for connecting with our people, I know we’ll make more effective progress in improving upon our 140-legacy and enhancing our capacity as a rising and innovative 21st-century collective force for good.
Since I didn’t write an article last week, I wanted to mention that I hope you had a meaningful Fourth of July. I also trust your Independence Day brought new insights into what it means to be free. Here’s what I was thinking:
In the spirit of racial justice, anti-racism, and a more perfect union, I think it important that we engage in an initiative that prepares us to push forward all three essential pursuits.
Last week we completed the first round of our ECRA Circle of Solidarity & Mourning. We patterned the experience after a 30-day period of Jewish mourning we call shloshim. My colleagues and I meet this week to discuss our next steps as an interfaith coalition. But I am also hoping to do more work within our congregation - an Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI). We are working with RAC-IL on anti-racism training. I propose our Tikkun Olam team renew its book club, and we read transformative books like Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist. I also think it’s time, as we assemble a more broad-based Inclusion team, that some of our work considers how we must improve our inclusivity of those who identify as Jews of color.
I invite you to join me as we find ways to enter and stay in this fight for racial justice.
Make it a day of blessing, be a force for good, and struggle onward!
Rabbi Craig Marantz