jtnews | january 25, 2013

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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for January 25, 2013.


learning and listening page 8www.jtnews.net

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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, JaNuary 25, 2013

February Family CalendarFor complete details about these and other upcoming JFS events and workshops, please visit our website: www.jfsseattle.orgFor aDults age 60+ For the communityPlease save the Date

Endless OpportunitiesA community-wide program offered in partnership with Temple Bnai Torah & Temple De Hirsch Sinai. EO events are open to the public.

AA Meetings at JFStuesdays: 7:00 p.m. Contact (206) 461-3240 or ata@jfsseattle.orgm

Kosher Food Bank EventPre-registration required Wednesday: February 6 5:00 6:30 p.m. Pre-register Jana Prothman, (206) 861-3174 or jprothman@jfsseattle.orgm

Stories in Stone: Urban Geologym

tuesday: February 12 10:30 a.m. noon tuesday: February 19 noon 1:30 p.m.

Community of Caring LuncheonTuesday April 30, 201311:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m.

11th Annual

Tour of McCaw Hallm

South King County Caregiver Classtuesdays: February 12 march 19 1:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. Contact Don Armstrong, (206) 861-3170 or darmstrong@jfsseattle.orgm

Seattle Sheraton HotelDowntown, 6th & Pike

Event Chairs: Lela & Harley FrancoTo register, become a Table Captain or for sponsor information, please contact Leslie Sugiura: (206) 861-3151, Lsugiura@jfsseattle.org or visit www.jfsseattle.org

A Teamwork Approach to Caring for Your Aging Parents The Gates Foundations Pacific Northwest Initiativem

tuesday: February 19 7:00 9:00 p.m. Contact Leonid Orlov, (206) 861-8784 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

For Parents & Families

thursday: February 21 10:30 a.m. noon thursday: February 28 10:30 a.m. noon

Shaarei Tikvah: Purim Celebration Allsunday: February 24 3:00 5:00 p.m. Contact Marjorie Schnyder, (206) 861-3146 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

Parenting Mindfully: Drawing on Jewish Values Through Musarsundays: 11:00 a.m 12:30 p.m. February 3 The Middah of Patience m march 17 The Middah of Trust m april 14 The Middah of Calmness m may 19 The Middah of Responsibility Contact Marjorie Schnyder (206) 861-3146 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm m

Hindu Beliefsm

RSVP Ellen Hendin, (206) 861-3183 or endlessopps@jfsseattle.org regarding all Endless Opportunities programs in your relationshiP are you Changing your behavior to avoid your partners mood or temper? Feeling isolated from family and friends? Being put down? Lacking access to your money? Call Project DVORA for confidential support, (206) 461-3240

Food Budgeting

Early Learning & Early Experiences: Unraveling the Mysterytuesday: January 29 4:00 6:00 p.m. Contact Anna Goren, (206) 861-3179 or agoren@jfsseattle.orgm

Wednesday: February 6 7:00 9:00 p.m. Contact Marjorie Schnyder, (206) 861-3146 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

volunteer to make a DiFFerence!

Purim Basket Making & Delivery1601 16th Avenue, Seattle (206) 461-3240 www.jfsseattle.org

sunday: February 24 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. Contact Jane Deer-Hileman, (206) 861-3155 or volunteer@jfsseattle.org for these and other volunteer opportunitiesm


friday, january 25, 2013 . www.jtnews.net . jtnews opinion

the rabbis turn


Honoring a diverse Jewish communityRabbi beth SingeR Temple Beth AmThe Pacific Northwest was greatly honored this past month by a visit from the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Richard Jacobs. Rabbi Jacobs has quickly distinguished himself as a powerful visionary in an evolving contemporary Judaism, a leader who seeks to enable 1.5 million American Jews to practice liberal Judaism seriously, and as an ardent Zionist who practices what he preaches: Am Yisrael chai! The people of Israel lives! Back when I was a newly minted rabbi, Rabbi Jacobs was one of my first bosses. I am the better for having learned with him as he transformed a synagogue in New York into a vibrant, serious home of Jewish lifelong learning and practice for over 1,000 Jewish families. One reason we brought Rabbi Jacobs to our congregation on a Sunday morning was because the Reform movement is concerned with the national issue of the disappearance of Jewish kids after Bar and Bat Mitzvah. We wanted him to see the large, vibrant Jewish youth culture that prevails at Beth Am with over 100 postBar/Bat Mitzvah teens electing to serve as teen educational leaders each Sunday morning in our religious school madrichim program. At Beth Am, a teen may only enter the madrichim program if he or she is enrolled in our religious education program. Each year, in spite of our best efforts, a certain number of students do exit our program at some point in the year after Bat or Bar Mitzvah, and each departure is personally upsetting. At the same time, though, we have grown a powerful all-ages community, and we know that large numbers of our students graduate 12th grade with a strong Jewish identity based on a combination of their Jewish home experience and their religious communal experience at Beth Am, Jewish summer camp, and our regular Israel trips. So, thats what I wanted Rabbi Jacobs to see on a Sunday morning in January. At 9:15, we planted him at the front entrance to our building, and over the course of the next 20 minutes he shook hands with an extraordinary number of teens streaming through our building. As I tried to personally introduce him to as many teens as possible, I started to notice their great diversity. Some of these students come from interfaith homes where both parents have made a commitment to raise exclusively Jewish children. A number of the students are biracial. Even more were adopted at birth from other countries, particularly from Asia and Africa. A couple of students are uncertain whether they are male or female. A few of them already know they are gay. Some of our teens have learning disabilities or emotional disabilities or are somehow different than a stereotypical Jewish kid. Standing by Rabbi Jacobs as each student smiled and shook his hand I was overwhelmed by a diversity I had not noticed before. During his community address, Rabbi Jacobs relayed a true personal story in which he found himself in a crowd rushing down a street in Manhattan. On either side of him were strangers, each of a different skin color. A man on the street holding tefillin looked at all three and asked Rabbi Jacobs, Are you a Jew? The moral of the story: As we worry about shrinking numbers of Jews worldwide, let us not overlook those Jews who do not look exactly the same as our old notions. Let us all reflect on the diversity of the many faces of Jews in our time. There was once a stereotype of a white person of European descent with pale white skin and dark, curly hair. Now, that is simply one of so many looks that a Jewish person might have. Many of us will still look at a person of color in our shul reciting the prayers and wonder, Is that person really Jewish? For the sake of a healthy Jewish future, it is vital we recognize that Jews come in all colors, nationalities, abilities, disabilities, sexual orientations and backgrounds. Rabbi Jacobs spoke to the Jewish community about the importance of welcoming all who bring strength to the Jewish people. I am proud of our efforts here in the Pacific Northwest to empower all varieties of Jews to grow as Jews. Watching the larger Jewish community move in the direction of welcoming Jews of all different backgrounds can fill us all with great hope for the future of American Judaism.

Remembering those who had courage to careabRaham h. Foxman Special to JTNewsIt is fitting that the United Nations, as part of the international commemoration of the Holocaust on January 27, is paying tribute this year not only to the millions of innocents who died in the Nazi gas chambers, but also to those who made extraordinary sacrifices to hide and protect tens of thousands of Jews and others from certain death at the hands of Hitlers genocidal pogrom. Im speaking, of course, of the rescuers those individuals who made a calculated decision to shelter Jews and others wanted by the Nazis for no crime other than being the members of a deeply hated minority. The rescuers heroic deeds are often forgotten amid the greater tragedy of the Shoah. Fourteen years ago, a group of students in rural Whitwell, Tennessee, embarked on a remarkable classroom project in an effort to come to grips with the sheer enormity of the Holocaust. They did so by collecting paper clips. Over a period of many months, the students collected 6 million paper clips, one for each of the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was a monumental undertaking, requiring hours of unforgiving tedium as the paper clips were collected and counted. But at the end of the day the students succeeded and filled the greater part of a rail car with paperclips. I wish there could be a similar effort to raise awareness about the rescuers, those courageous individuals who went out of their way to save and protect Jewish lives. Aside from Steven Spielbergs Schindlers List, which in 1993 so greatly elevated public awareness of one rescuer in particular, the stories of the righteous gentiles who stepped up to make a profound, life-altering choice have been largely forgotten to history. Perhaps what is most remarkable about the rescuers is that their varied ethnicities and religious backgrounds challenge our preconceived notions about who