Dear Bet Torah Family,
“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.”
This quote from
, or “The Ethics of the Fathers, ” a collection of Talmudic wisdom, could not be more apropos to our times. All around us we are forced to face the inequities of our communities, our nation and our world. We are at a moment of reckoning, when all among us must look within to see how we are affected by and contribute to the injustices so many people live with daily.
Compelled by our Jewish values and firmly dictated by our Talmudic sages, we cannot turn a blind eye to racism, nor can we shrink from helping to fix it. From the idea of “
– protecting, promoting, and increasing the infinite value, dignity, equality and uniqueness of life – to
– encouraging appreciation for the world and all of its inhabitants -- we must address the disrespect, disavowal and disregard for others’ plights.
With thanks to our Social Justice team, together with our Life Long Learning committee and our Kulanu and TLC programs, Bet Torah has created and gathered information about a host of opportunities for all of us to listen, learn and discuss how we can do better individually and improve our world collectively. These programs represent the beginning of a conversation for our entire community, not to be completed in one effort, but rather to grow with time and interest. Please join us for any or all of these programs – for ourselves, for our children and for our communit
Friday, June 19, 1:30pm
“Confronting Racism in Faith,”
a Junteenth online event sponsored by UJA Federation of New York, in conjunction with an interfaith community and moderated by Jennifer Jones Austin of Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
Tuesday, June 23, 5pm
-- AJC Fairfield/Westchester Community of Conscious Group Discussion: “
So You Want to Talk About Race”
, a book by Ijeoma Oluo. An interfaith group discussion via Zoom, facilitated by Rev. Kymberly McNair, Associate Minister at Antioch Baptist Church in Bedford.
Wednesday, June 24, 8pm
-- A conversation moderated by Rabbi Brusso with Carola Bracco, Executive Director of Neighbor's Link, highlighting
the effect of COVID on the immigrant population
and identifying actionable ways the Bet Torah community can engage to partner with our neighbors.
Join Zoom Meeting here
hursday, June 25, 8pm
Talking to our Kids About Racism.”
Rabbi Brusso and Loen will help parents of B’nai Mitzvah students and older process current events, including the death of George Floyd, protests, Black Lives Matter and systematic racism. The event’s goal will be to help parents find the words to address these challenging topics with their teens and to also help them understand the need to create safe spaces to make mistakes and learn and grow from them.
Sunday, June 28, 7pm
Group discussion of the movie, "The 13th" via Zoom. Watch the movie on your own and then join Bet Torah’s Social Justice subcommittee to
discuss the film and
begin an ongoing conversation about racial injustice.
The title of the film is a reference to the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment, which abolishes slavery. Clergy and other facilitators are expected to join this discussion. The film, intended for mature teens and adults, is available on Netflix (100 minutes). Watch for upcoming information, including Zoom invite.
Monday, June 29, 6:30pm
Interfaith Vigil for Social Justice
, one month after the death of George Floyd. Beginning at Mount Kisco Village Hall, 104 East Main Street, and led by Rabbi Brusso, together with other local clergy. Social distancing protocols will be in place. Watch for more details to follow shortly.
Journaling@Bet Torah –
Bet Torah congregants will have an
opportunity to reflect on a social justice-related topic through our new “Journaling@BetTorah”
initiative, which was developed recently as a way to record our community’s experiences during challenges resulting from quarantine, as well as these days of unrest. Please watch for
specific details about this upcoming journaling “prompt” soon. For more information about this new writing initiative, visit our website
Guest Speaker for Teens
– Conversations with Bet Torah clergy and staff. Please watch for information coming very soon.
Carol Siege, President