I’ve often struggled with thinking about my role in making the world a better place. I am deeply committed to fighting oppression and helping people in many ways…yet, I know that there is always more that I could do. I’m not a professional organizer or activist. I don’t go to every single rally in my community. I don’t volunteer as often as I wish I would. I always feel like there’s something more I should be doing.
On its face, being a Jewish professional who works with college students and young professionals isn’t a very direct way of correcting the injustices that pervades our society. And yet, although I feel like there’s more I should be doing, I feel proud of my work in the Jewish community. The organization I work for, the Union for Reform Judaism, is a movement that holds an enormous commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the brokenness of our world. I have done numerous educational workshops on social justice in the Jewish community, attended rallies with Jewish friends, and have taken courageous stands with the backing of members of the Jewish community. While I’m a Jewish professional, I have taken on different roles in healing our devastated world.
In short, we all have a role to play in bringing more justice into the world.
That being said, let’s praise professional athletes, especially Colin Kaepernick, who use their platform to protest police brutality.
Let’s praise Jimmy Kimmel, who did his research, got involved in the healthcare debate, and helped defeat the disaster that was Graham-Cassidy.
Let’s praise the courage of Jemele Hill, who boldly criticized Donald Trump and had to fight ESPN executives afterwards.
Let’s praise the cast of the musical Hamilton, who truly spoke truth to power when they directly addressed Mike Pence when he attended a show.
Let’s praise Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, who was literally wading in water trying to assist her citizens.
I look at all these individuals, and the countless other people in the world, who believe that being a human being is about bringing more justice into the world, and I hope that our Congress is watching. I hope Congress is watching because 59 innocent people are dead and more than 500 are injured after a terrorist attack in Las Vegas. After this horrible and tragic mass shooting, Congress needs to play its role. The role they were given through our democratic process in the United States. And that role is more than just to offer the now seemingly thoughtless “thoughts and prayers” – it is to act. It is to protect lives. It is make our communities more loving, compassionate, and whole. It is to bring justice to every single person in our country.
We all have a role to play. So what will you do today?