Tag Archives: communication

#GunSense

Every once in a while, your rabbi quotes one of your other rabbis and your heart swells with affection. Yesterday, Rabbi Neil Blumofe quoted Rabbi Paul Kipnes, who was my rabbi-supervisor at Gindling Hilltop Camp in the early 90s (and one of my “big brothers” among the “Pacific Area Reform Rabbis”).

My heart was already full yesterday morning: A) The Torah scroll that was read & lifted yesterday was scribed by a female soferet. B) I was sitting next to my lovely friend Yaira, across from my adorable friend Chris, and looking around a beautiful Jewish sanctuary filled with amazing people. C) I was praying with a Jewish community who loves liturgical Hebrew.

My heart was also broken: It takes me a few days for mass shootings to sink into my brain. At first, Shock – How can there be another mass shooting? How many kids died this time? Again?! Next, Anger – How did no one stop this troubled teen? How is it so easy for a kid to get guns, bullets, and alone time to mount a full-scale attack on a school? Also, Confusion – How is it possible that we live in a so-called advanced society and we don’t recognize the importance of safety for our children? How can we not agree on the most basic of needs for the most vulnerable of humans?

Then, in his sermon, Rabbi Blumofe cited Rabbi Kipnes’ blog:

Two by Two: Saving the Children
From the Storm of Bullets
Raining Down on their Heads
By Rabbi Paul Kipnes

In his poetic charge, Rabbi Kipnes implores all of us to:

Join an organization that reflects your views
Or Send a check to a candidate that reflects your views
Or Attend a rally to reflect your views
Or Make a donation to a group that reflects your views
And then
Encourage two friends to do two by two

So, I wanted to amplify this message and add my two cents.

1. Contacting our elected representatives – I know that postcard parties and sending emails are easier for the introverts than calling. I personally do not enjoy talking on the telephone either. However, everything I’ve read, for example, from INDIVISIBLE suggests CALLING is more effective than mail of any sort. Our mail and email just gets counted and reported as statistics – and we know what conservative politicians do with stats. However, actually CALLING during business hours takes up the office staff’s time. When the staffers report to their bosses, our elected representatives, they report that our CALLS take time away from the rest of their productive work day. That’s GREAT. Let’s do that. CALL. CALL. CALL. Keep a list in front of you. Crochet while you are on hold. Do whatever you can to force yourself to make these calls on the regular. (I’m going to do this awkward thing and link you to a blog post I already wrote about this: A New Resistance.)

2. We were on fire during the first 3 or 4 months of this American presidency. I know that my senators complained about the phone calls we snowflakes were putting in. Let’s get that fire back. If our team can run this marathon of resistance NOW, then it won’t turn into a full 8 years of this presidency. (Heaven, help us.)

Here is a pep talk from EVERYTOWN.org

throw them out.jpg

I found this scary drawing (below) on a friend’s Facebook page.

We CANNOT let this be our future.

mass shootings.jpg

This happened on Facebook.

I posted this on FB this morning:

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but here we go:
Not all Arabs are Muslim.
Not all Muslims are Arab.
Not all Americans are Christian.
Not all Israelis are Jewish.
Not all Israelis agree with every policy of the Israeli government or the Israeli police force.
I can support Israel, call myself a Zionist, and still disagree with things that happen in Israel.
I can love Israel and fear for Israelis’ safety, and still think critically about how they protect themselves from terrorism.
I can love Israel and my Israeli friends and family, and still care about the Palestinian people.

“If you are reading this and you are surprised, please go read more about the situation. Maybe try +972 Magazine or Al Jazeera English. NPR and the New York Times don’t always present all sides of the story – partially because the story is 2,000 years old. There are not only two sides to this story.

“If you are surprised that I am posting this, please know that I don’t want to have to, but every once in a while, I am surprised and disappointed by how ignorant/naive/hateful some smart people are. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)”

A whole bunch of people “liked” it, and some people “shared” it.

Then, I came home to make dinner and I had to write this:

“A blogger who shall remain unnamed here (who I’ve already blocked) gleefully posted his blog on my FB page with the caption:

‘I mentioned you in my blog!’

(Apparently, I am the idiot below.)

Here was the mention – “Some idiot on Facebook wanted to take this opportunity to remind us that Palestinians are people too. Here’s the thing: I don’t divide people based on race, religion, or creed (I don’t even know what creed is). This is my simple framework: If you run around stabbing innocent children, you are not a person. If you cheer the stabbing of children, you are not a person. If you hand out candy when airplanes crash into buildings, you are not human.”

1. This inarticulate public tribute to my idiocy reminded me that I have my own blog that I never use and I’m going to start using it RIGHT NOW.

2. People who proudly post that they don’t know something – while on the internet that holds the answer – are too full of themselves to look up the thing they don’t know. Public confirmed ignorance is a lifestyle choice.

3. I loathe terrorists, but I don’t deny their humanity. Terrorists are human beings, which is why this situation is so complicated.

4. People who think of any human being as less than human SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF ME. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let fear stop me from seeing humanity in every other person on this terrifying planet.

5. There is a spark of divinity in every single one of us, even the people we don’t like. (Genesis 1:27)”

So, welcome back to my blog.
Get ready for some ranting.

May Peace Prevail on Earth.

A Dream Team – We will work better together.

I’m grateful to have had some amazing jobs and some amazing colleagues. I’ve learned so much about myself and about teamwork in general. Of course, I recognize that all jobs and all teams come with particular frustrations, but sometimes I let myself dream of a perfect team. My dream job includes a dream team of colleagues.

Progress – This Dream Team consists of individuals who want to improve – ourselves and our work. We are dedicated to reviewing the work we do – talking about and recording what worked, what didn’t work, and what we are missing. We don’t take mistakes personally. We work together to make our work and our organization better and better.

Communication – The Dream Team talks things through. We know each other well because we communicate. We support each other when we are sad and happy, which we are aware of because we communicate often.

Planning Ahead – We sit down together regularly to look backwards and forwards. We dream up zany ideas together. Even though we strive to plan ahead, The Dream Team isn’t afraid to follow through on a last-minute plan if enough of us agree that it’s a fantastic idea.

Conflict – We argue, and it’s okay. Sometimes, we argue opposite sides just to consider an idea or a plan from every angle. We respectfully disagree. We handle conflict with respect and openness. We never pretend to agree or hide our opinions. We work together toward resolutions that everyone can get behind. Individuals are allowed to change their minds without worrying about winning or losing an argument. We try to accept each other’s differences, and, if something gets particularly tough, we try to address it within 24 hours.

The Benefit of the Doubt – The members of the Dream Team give each other the benefit of the doubt. We assume that we each want what’s best for each other and for the team.

Vision – The Dream Team has a big picture mentality. We have a shared vision of our goal and our path. When we get stuck on a problem, our team reviews our next steps in light of our biggest goal and our shared values. When we review our successes and failures, we use our goals as a guide to our next steps. Our shared vision and our shared values help us do our best over and over.

I’m hoping that – if I can imagine it, then I’ll be able to recognize it when I see it. And I really hope they will recognize me as the team member they want and need.