I have been active on Israel-Palestine issues since volunteering for the Shimon Peres campaign for Prime Minister in 1996, and living/working in the West Bank (Ramallah) and Northern Israel (Haifa/Shfar’am) as part of the Palestine Peace Project in 1997 and 1998. I have volunteered extensively for the New Israel Fund, the Refuser Solidarity Network and Shovrim Shtika (Breaking the Silence). I live in Washington, DC with my wife, who I met through Israel-Palestine activism, and our two sons, who attend a Jewish day school. I write for Jewschool as a way of exploring how to parent two boys who are immersed in Judaism and “the mainstream” in school from the perspectives and experiences I have developed over many years, perspectives that often leave me outside of that same mainstream.
It just feels hard to breathe these days. So Pesach comes just in time. What can help most of all in the effort to catch your breath is the familiar -- ritual, family/friends, and the chance to think about the pressure on your lungs in new ways. Many of us will add new Haggadot and new ideas to these elements of Pesach, but in the end, the festival will hopefully be a time to breathe. As we do so, we need music to help ensure we can continue to breathe throughout Pesach, and beyond. So for this playlist, we choose all artists of color – African-American, African, Arab, and Asian – whose music speaks of the difficulty of breathing in our society (in a couple of cases, literally focusing on the phrase “I Can’t Breathe”) and the relief that comes when you can.
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Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block reminds us not to retreat and be silent in the face of the new wave of the Muslim Ban -- and to stand up and fight back.
Monday morning, IfNotNow protested in the lobby of the JFNA, challenging Jewish institutions to demonstrate greater moral leadership.
Documentary film "Freedom Runners" tells the stories of young African asylum seekers in Israel competing for a slim hope at Israeli citizenship.
There are eerie similarities in how Binyamin Netanyahu came to power with how Donald Trump may do the same on Election Day.