Every April, I write about domestic terrorism in the U.S. and the neo-Nazi, white supremacist movement. My articles began with the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing almost twenty years ago. I became the community and media liaison for Oklahoma's Tulsa Jewish Federation shortly after the bombing so that I could see what led to the deadliest bombing, prior to 9/11, on our native soil. The violent hatred that I saw then has not only continued, but blossomed in recent years with spring surges. In April 2013, the result was the Boston Marathon bombings. April 2014 has been marked by shootings at a Jewish Community Center and Jewish Seniors Home in Kansas City by a former KKK Grand Dragon and White Supremacist. Here in Chattanooga, the most prominent neo-Nazi group in the US is planning its 40th anniversary rally on the steps of our Court House on April 26, the weekend of Holocaust Memorial Day. Where was their most recent rally just months ago? Kansas City. We cannot, and should not, overlook past lessons, current momentum, and future consequences.<< MORE >>
Passover is the root story of Judaism. It is a story of religious freedom reliving the Exodus from Egypt, and the struggle to emerge from slavery to freedom. The quest for religious freedom, for the right to practice Judaism, is an ongoing struggle that the Jewish people re-live each year at Passover as Christians re-live the story of Easter.
Passover and Easter come at roughly the same time every spring. Some of the rituals and symbols of the two celebrations overlap: the Seder table, the egg, the wine and the wafer-like matzo. The Jewish heritage of Jesus is especially apparent at this time.<< MORE >>
A haze hovers around the border of the valley,
smoke trees blazing into bloom, a line of cherry
blushing in between. Pollen lazes on bridges, cars.
A brown thrasher lingers on the gate outside my house
Here I am Here I am haha hahaha
and a nuthatch widens his wings and sways
his ruffled body, warning an uncertain squirrel
from flung crumbs.
Access denied, the squirrel nips across the porch,
acorn husks scattering under bony feet.
Nuthatch and goldfinch reclaim the feeder,
beaks wide, new song rising.<< MORE >>
Yes, I shared my story at the Women Ground Breakers event holding my broken arm. I had a kerfuffle with a department store floor and the floor won. Lying on that floor, all that went through my mind was, “How am I get everything done for our Women’s History Storytelling celebration?” Part of me muttered,“We’re doomed!” But part of me said, “Ah, the Broken Bone Factor! This isn't a disability - this is diversity at work! ”
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Human beings are generally fearful of the unknown, the strange and the unusual. We rightfully warn our children to be aware of and avoid strangers. We place things of an unfamiliar nature in boxes labeled beware, dangerous, harmful or not to be trusted.Thus, a stranger is to be feared. This sets the stage for hatred. To a large degree, people of all ethnic groups tend to be xenophobic, very often without really recognizing it. Xenophobia causes fear, and sometimes fear naturally generates hatred.
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The night outside has only just begun. It is youthful, jaunty with the stars perked up for an eve of dance and delight; much like the twelve princesses from childhood stories. The stars row down the alabaster stretch to a clandestine ball held at some obscured corner of the sky, conspicuous to only lovers – or believers.
I roam the sky from my window wondering about their revelling and draw up conclusions of success or dejection from the way ...<< MORE >>
The recent inauguration of Morehouse College’s 11th president is a major milestone not only for HBCUs (Historic Black Colleges and Universities) and the African-American community, but for the country. Yes, I am biased as a former executive with the American Jewish Committee in Chicago, a member of Chicago’s Black-Jewish dialogue thirty years ago, and student on a picket line in the sixties. Hired by AJC to run the midwest interreligious programming, it was my good fortune to coordinate its Black-Jewish Seminarians Conferences and be in dialogue with African-American educators planning the National Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations. The discussion of ...<< MORE >>