The Torah repeats a cryptic commandment: Remember to blot out the memory of Amalek. Amalek, in our collective imagination, represents the people or forces who want to destroy us. I think this teaching – to remember to blot out – tells us that we need to stay awake to malevolent forces but not let them define us.
The growing presence of White Nationalism relies on ancient antisemitic tropes. Heartbreakingly, it has become essential at this time to become educated about the antisemitic hate that is being put into the world, and to strengthen ourselves around the various ways to combat hate in all its forms. We have two programs in the works to this effect. The first is this coming Sunday (during Religious School) with the JCRC, and the second will be with Eric Ward on January 31 (Friday evening) and February 2 (Sunday afternoon.)
Recognizing and Dispelling Antisemitism in Our Communities
Sunday, November 24, 9:45 am at Shir Tikvah and Lynnhurst
We hope you and your children (7th grade and up) will join this important program next Sunday. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas will be at Shir Tikvah with five of their top facilitators and trainers to share their knowledge about antisemitism and how to combat it.
All current and past Shir Tikvah students who are in 7th through 12th grade will gather at Lynnhurst Community Center (the usual classroom building across the street) from 9:45 am through 11:15, to give current students a chance to be with regular class and teachers briefly before and after the program. Laura Zelle, Sally Abrams and Holly Brod Farber are facilitating and Forrest and Rabbi Rappaport will be with the students. The program begins with an affirmation that information about antisemitism is important for them to know, but in no way defines their identity as Jewish people.
All adults are invited to gather in the Sanctuary from 9:45 - 11:00. Presenters are Sami Rahamim and Dan Plekkenpol.
Both these programs will include an overview of:
- What is and what isn’t antisemitism,
- Historical antisemitic beliefs and stereotypes,
- Scenarios from schools (role-play and discussion with students)
- Verbal skills to respond (handout for students)
The adult presentation will go further into the link between antisemitism and white nationalism, as well as what is being done by JCRC. There will be space for conversation at the end.
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to Forrest or to Rabbi Rappaport.