Dear Folkshul Community:
As the news sinks in that the voices of xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, bullying, and racism apparently rang out louder than the voices of civil discourse, critical thinking, and inclusiviity, it is hard not to feel defeated. Our hearts ache for undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, our threatened climate - and all of us who fear an uncertain future as a result of this election. We struggle to know what to say to our children, often unsure how to understand it ourselves.
L’Dor V’dor - from generation to generation – we remember in awe those who rose up in the past to resist injustice; we pass these values and traditions on to our children. These next few years will likely provide many opportunities to “walk the walk” with our children by our sides - at rallies and marches and while volunteering to shore up organizations that help those in need of a voice and support. We took our children to Washington, DC to March for Soviet Jewry, for the Women’s Right to Choose Rally and to Stand Up for Education. Many of our children participated in the AIDS Walk from early on, and some were instrumental in the fight for Public School funding in Philadelphia. And who can forget marching in the recent Climate Rally in Philadelphia in scorching heat!
Justice. Fairness. Equality. Respect for Difference. Care of the Environment. These are the values of our community. We can take some time to grieve - but we will not be stopped. The secular Jewish community has a long and proud history of social action and resistance to injustice. We have fought, demonstrated, sued, picketed, and helped to build coalitions of like-minded people. And rest assured - we will continue this tradition!
Still, after so many miles of marching, a certain amount of weariness is understandable. Our children are looking to us for reassurance and guidance. Our elders are looking to us to carry it on. As we brace ourselves for uncertain times, it is crucial that we lean on one another. We invite you to join us this Sunday morning at Folkshul. We have set aside a time and space for folks to gather - - to talk, vent and support one another. Let’s begin the process of brainstorming the next steps to take toward the direction laid out by our past, informed by our present values, and where we want the world to go.
With hope from all of us at Folkshul
For some ideas for how to talk to our children about the outcome of this election:
The Day After. By Lauryn Mascareñaz. Teaching Tolerance Blog.11/02/2016.
What Do We Tell The Children? By Ali Michael, PhD. Huffington Post. 11/08/2016.