RiSe Up! Social Action
MAZON: “This Is Hunger” Exhibit at Rodeph Shalom on March 17th-19th.
MAZON has a long tradition of engaging the American Jewish community as well as anti-hunger organizations to become catalysts for the change we need to end hunger in America. We know all too well that there are persistent myths about hunger in America, about who is hungry and why. Until our nation recognizes the profound prevalence of hunger here at home, we will never be able to rally the political will required to end it.
That’s why we are partnering with MAZON to bring a powerful community engagement program that will encourage individuals to embark on a journey—one that that will challenge their beliefs about who in America struggles with hunger and why, and empower them to take action.
The exhibit, called “This Is Hunger,” is a high-impact, experiential installation on wheels—literally, it’s a big rig. When the 53-foot-long double expandable trailer is parked and open on both sides, it provides nearly 1,000 square feet of interior space to take participants on a two-part journey: to understand the stark reality of hunger in America and to take action to end hunger once and for all. It consists of two main parts:
Part One: Illuminate—Participants enter the truck and are invited to sit at a communal table to meet, virtually, real people struggling with hunger. Portraits are projected at each end of the table, one by one, as they share their stories in their own words and in their own voices.
Part Two: Advocate—At the conclusion of Part One: Illuminate, participants will be invited to engage in activities and experiences that will deepen their awareness about the complexities of being hungry and invite them to join MAZON in educating the rest of our nation and advocating for change.
Rodeph Shalom is proud to host “This Is Hunger,” on March 17th-19th. The installation will be open the whole weekend for the entire community and we have blocked off special times for our congregation: right after services on Friday night, during a special Torah study on Saturday morning, and all morning Sunday for our religious students and parents.
To get involved in some of our congregational hunger relief efforts or to find out more information about “This Is Hunger,” please contact Benay Stein - [email protected]
Following the horrific shooting in Orlando, Cantor Frankel offered the following prayer at Shabbat Services:
Hashkiveinu Adonai Eloheinu L’Shalom, V’haamideinu Shomreinu L’chayim, Let us lie down in peace O God and rise up, our guardian, to life renewed. We pray for protection, that in our most vulnerable moments we won’t have to focus on just how vulnerable we can be... And then we’re reminded how our sense of safety, how the sense of safety of those who have worked for equality and acceptance, can be rocked to its core.
Where is the symbol of God’s brit, God’s covenant, with all of us in those moments? Where is the rainbow?
After God destroyed the world in the flood, saving Noah and his family to continue human kind, God chose the rainbow to be a symbol of the promise not to destroy humanity again. The rainbow is so beautiful, it appears magically and without warning, it’s colors share space harmoniously in such a way that all kinds of people seem to be represented in its bands.
But as a symbol the rainbow is more than just beauty and harmony. It is a reminder of a two-way covenant, a reminder of the part we must play in repairing a world that after Orlando once again seems so broken.
There is such fear and shock after last weekend’s events. Such pain in the LGBTQ and Latino communities.
So we must remember the rainbow, and repeat the question, as Sen. Chris Murphy did on the Senate floor this week, “What can you do? What is your part?”
We pray for protection, we pray for peace, we pray for tolerance, we pray for sanity, we pray for the day when cultural differences, sexual equality, and gun control are all accepted, because on that day we all will agree, as Lin-Manuel Miranda said at the Tony awards last week, that love is love is love is love is love.
Remember the rainbow, remember the covenant. What is your part?
Cantor Frankel proceeded to sing "True Colors" (Cyndie Lauper)
"But I see your true colors
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow"
ABOUT OUR RISE UP HOUSE OF SOCIAL ACTION: Reform Judaism motivates us to repair physical, economic and social brokenness wherever it exists: in our families, our local communities, and our nation, Israel, the Jewish Diaspora and the world. Rodeph Shalom provides a gateway for volunteers to contribute energy, talent and resources in pursuit of social justice. We build bridges with other faith groups and organizations. Through our advocacy, actions and philanthropy, we pursue the work of Tikkun Olam.
When, as individuals or with our fellow congregants, we take action, learn about the circumstances of others, respond to crisis, or advocate policies for social justice, we are working to heal the world, to grow as individual Jews and to build relationships in our community. At Rodeph Shalom, our social action work is coordinated, planned and promoted through our RiSe Up! House of Social Action. This Committee serves as a forum for ideas and energies and as a conduit for action to bring our community together. Through RiSe Up! our congregants can share their interests and activism. RiSe Up! evolves as needs and issues change. Any member of our community can propose and spearhead a program and as we throw our communal weight behind that idea, it grows and thrives. Our tradition calls us to RiSe Up! to the challenges in our community with creativity, with deep conviction, and with our faith in one another and in God.
If you have any questions, comments or ideas about Social Action please direct them to Benay Stein at 215-627-6747 x261.
Please contact Stuart Schmidt ([email protected] ) for information on how to become involved with any of these service organizations. Additional information will be available on the RS website.