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June 4,2020

Most ‘experts’ believe Paul McCartney wrote  Blackbird in response to the struggle - broken wings - of black America. It was released at the time of the assassination of Martin Luther King (and Bobby Kennedy), riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, and Soviet tanks in Prague. Upheaval was here, there and everywhere. The last person to speak before Dr. King delivered "I have a dream" was Rabbi Joachim Prinz. That image (and the song) are on my mind as I struggle with how to best define what our role as Jews is in this battle against racial injustice. Rabbi Prinz - in this picture with Dr. King at an American Jewish Congress event - was there to support and advise. Dr. King was there to lead. We can learn from their example and lend support and if there’s opportunity, give advice .

Within the Jewish community there are many Jews of color (individuals and organizations) who (for me) are the leaders we should listen to and support. " In their own words" – a story from Times of Israel is a good introduction to their lives. If they ask, support, advise and suggest. If they don’t, let them speak because we are (if we are lucky) Rabbi Prinz in this scenario while they are the ones who have a dream.

I wish I could write songs like Blackbird (or any). Rabbi Prinz in his words more than 50 years ago said, “I wish I could sing.” I have already watched this Prinz documentary and recommend it.
Beyond that I continue to watch for what I fear is always around the corner. Perhaps it comes with the job. So far I have not seen anything to suggest that in places were Jewish institutions were damaged the motive was antisemitism. This is a very good sign.

Justice must not be derailed. And in this week of mayhem there was one other bright (even if a little lost) moment of justice when Steve King, a white supremacist congressman from Iowa, lost the state primary. No matter who wins the actual seat, this is an early win for justice.

[ Read more in the Bulletin >>> ]

Trunk of Tolerance Project

Stories of Survival, Rescuers and Resistance

Trunk of Tolerance Project

What is a Trunk of Tolerance?

Its a free source of materials that teachers can borrow to enhance their existing Holocaust curriculum. It is another tool to teach students tolerance and encourage them to be active resistors to prejudice.

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Amir Cohen
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Michelle Poirier


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