Bridging the World Towards Kindness
Olam Chesed Yibaneh –
We must build our world from loving-kindness.
The world is a big place – and there are gaps between what is right and what is. Sometimes, those gaps feel closer together – such as in the news that George Floyd’s murderer will be behind bars, and the pressure on Queens Park to introduce sick-leave. Sometimes those gaps feel wider and unbridgeable – in conversations around the vaccine rollout in the Global South, where new variants are bringing hardship and devastation, we feel the need to try to do something to lessen the suffering.
One of my honours is to serve as a co-chair for the World Union of Progressive Judaism’s conference, which launches in mid-May, just after Shavuot. It is the first World Union Connections gathering in four years – and the first online conference.
When our member, and the chair of the World Union – Carole Sterling – asked me to help with the conference – I was excited for the opportunity to travel to Jerusalem – to Beit Shmuel once again. But instead, I’ll be taking a trip like Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlov taught about – creating a virtual Jerusalem.
There, I will see friends and members of our global Jewish family from around the world – I’ll have a chance to preserve tradition through pickle-making with Rabbi Whats the Dill…. And to learn how to make Kosher Chilli Crab with Rosita from Singapore. I’ll be able to schmooze at the ‘bar’ area, and hear some of the freshest new Jewish music in our movement.
In addition I am honoured to be able to learn from dynamic speakers and teacher – like Rabbi Splansky, who is moderating one of our keynote events with Professor Stephen Pinker and Adam Azari – a National Geographic level video on the environment with Rabbi Sergio Bergman, the new WUPJ President, and the former minister of the environment for the government of Argentina – and the first Reform Rabbi in the Knesset- Gilad Kariv.
I recently learned that one of the keynotes will be announcing a new initiative to bring healing to parts of our world greatly in need of support and care, and I look forward to learning more at the conference!
Our huge and interconnected Jewish world is built on Love- come, learn, and study the diversity of our movement and see how that diversity builds a more caring world together.
(And thank you to Rabbi Splansky, Tema Smith, Carole Sterling, Cantor Rosen, Kalman Green, Daniel Abramson, Les Rothschild, Rabbi Glickman, Abigail Carpenter-Winch, Rabbi Tepper, Ann Rosenfield and so many more members of our community for your help!)