Redefining “Rabbi” in Rockland County

Rabbi Adam Baldachin, Seminary Leadership Project alum, wrote on eJewish Philanthropy this morning about his work organizing for justice in the East Ramapo School District.  His piece is excerpted below, and you can read the full piece here.  

As rabbis, we are trained to access the collection of texts that deal with the stuff of life. The law, narratives, interpretations, and inner yearnings that make up the Jewish tradition give us the background we need to do our holy work: to bring truth, meaning, justice, and empathy to anyone who will connect with us on their Jewish journeys. Yet when I began to work full time as a rabbi in Montebello, NY, I couldn’t have guessed where my training would lead me.

In my first week on the job, a local reporter asked my opinion about the crisis unfolding within the East Ramapo school district. Knowing nothing about the issue, I declined to comment. Instead, I began my justice work by holding one-on-one conversations and listening, as I learned while at JTS in a course taught by Meir Lakein of JOIN for Justice. So upon arriving at Montebello Jewish Center, I met congregants in my office, out for coffee or in their homes to hear their stories and find out what might motivate them to get involved in some issue that affected them, their community or society at large. The issue that was mentioned over and over again was the situation in the East Ramapo School District, which is located about three miles from our synagogue.

See the rest of the post here.  

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