Page 1 - The Jewish Voice - July '20
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VOL. 10 NO. 7                                                                                  JULY 2020

      Jewish Volunteer Center Provides Vital Support,

      Opportunities for Acts of Kindness

         To  address  the immediate  and  critical  needs  of the
      community, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s
      Jewish Volunteer Center (JVC) has been at the forefront
      of creating opportunities for the community to share
      kindness and support, all while observing health and safety
      recommendations. Founded with the mission to demonstrate
      the Jewish value of tikkun olam (Hebrew for “repair the
      world”), the JVC also quickly created a comprehensive web
      presence with ways those of all ages in the community could
      volunteer, spread kindness, and help the vulnerable in our
      community — all in partnership with Jewish and secular
      organizations; the site is located at
         Most recently, JVC brought the community together in
      partnership with Operation Gratitude over Memorial Day
      weekend to thank our service men and women. Community
      members knit and crocheted scarves and hats, made paracord   to schools and providing gift cards to each teacher.
      bracelets (also known as survival bracelets) and handmade      JVC also rallied the community to give back in other
      cards for our troops, and more.                   inspiring ways, often in partnership with Jewish and secular
         To end the school year, JVC also helped to celebrate   organizations. Among the most successful, community
      nine local teachers for their stellar achievements — in the   members made videos sending well wishes to the senior      “The response we have received during these trying times
      classroom and through all the newly introduced digital   residents at MorseLife who had not had visitors in months.   has been extraordinary. While it’s completely understandable
      platforms — during National Teacher Appreciation Week. In   JVC also led other coordinated check-in calls to isolated   to feel powerless during this pandemic, I am incredibly proud
      partnership with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach   older adults via the new Community Cares Phone Tree; led   how those of all ages have rallied together to help members of
      County and Federation’s Anne and Sam Klein Literacy   a Pack a Wish challenge where people packed up clothing   our community who need it most during such a challenging
      Program, nine educators received boxes filled with much-  to donate along with messages of kindness to the recipients;   time,” shared Juliana Gendelman, chair of JVC. “I couldn’t
      needed books and supplies to best serve their students and   and empowered local residents to create and share acts of   be more proud of the work of the JVC and Federation who
      their classrooms. JVC supported the effort, donating books   kindness across social media.           are helping countless individuals and families in need.”
      How Moses Overcame Racism and How We Can, Too

      By Rabbi Dovid Vigler                             their skin and not by the content of their character.  natural egoic prejudice merely by switching it off. Hate
         Everyone is talking                               The Saintly Baal Shem Tov teaches that human hearts   doesn’t simply go away unless you shine a greater light.
      about racism today, but it                        are like mirrors. When we see a fault in someone else, it’s   Confronting Racism in the Torah
      was a fellow Chabad rabbi                         only visible to us because that same fault exists, to some      When Moses confronted Pharaoh while he had his knee
      (who happens to be black)                         degree, within ourselves. When a clean person looks in the   to our necks and we couldn’t breathe, he spoke truth to
      who gave me the most                              mirror, he sees a clean face. Only the dirty man sees a dirty   power. He proceeded to educate Pharaoh and the Egyptians
      beautiful definition on our                       face in the mirror.                                through ten crushing plagues “so that they may know that
      Facebook Live Broadcast                              We all have an ego — a sense of self that is struggling   I am G-d as I stretch my arm over Egypt.”
      in June. Rabbi Binyamin                           for its definition in a tumultuous world. The easiest way to      Why the need for a show-and-tell lecture in theology
      Murray, the Chabad  rabbi                         define ourselves is by contrasting ourselves with others, and   when racism was rampant and the Jewish slaves were dying
      of  Middlebury, Vermont,                          sadly, the contrast is most often one that places “I” above   daily? If his objective was merely to free the Jews, G-d could
      explained that racism is                          “them.”                                            have simply killed the Egyptians and the Jews would have
      merely a form of bias.                               So how can we ever overcome our racism? If it’s so   been free.
         And we all have it.                            deeply tied into our very identity, is it even possible to let      Getting the Jews out of slavery was pretty straightforward.
         We all judge a book by its cover. Some believe it takes 30   it go?                               But getting slavery out of the Jews, now that was a whole
      seconds to form a first impression of another person. Others   The Key                               different story!
      believe it takes 2-3 seconds. There was even a study done      As a child, the fifth Chabad Rebbe, Sholom Ber, was      Only when humanity would be permeated with the
      by Princeton psychologists that found it takes only a tenth   taller than his older brother, Zalman Aharon. Once while   awareness of the presence of G-d would they be able to
      of a second to form an impression of somebody! Sadly, the   playing, Zalman Aharon pushed Sholom Ber into a ditch   overcome racism and bias.
      research has proven that we all judge others by the color of   and triumphantly declared that he was finally the taller one.   Woven into the Fabric of Our Nation
                                                                                 Their father, Reb Shmuel,      Our Founding Fathers intuitively understood this
                                                                                 was observing the scene. He   truth and wove it into the very fabric of our great nation.
                                                                                 pulled out a chair and asked   Despite their insistence on separating church and state
                                                                                 Zalman Aharon to stand upon   through the Establishment Clause, they also insisted that
                                                                                 it. He then told him that “to   “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
                                                                                 be bigger than someone else,   Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
                                                                                 there is no need to push him   are  Life,  Liberty  and  the  pursuit  of  Happiness,”  with
                                                                                 down.  Simply  lift  yourself   frequent references to G-d throughout the Declaration of
                                                                                 higher!”                  Independence.
                                                                                   It is unrealistic to think
                                                                                 that we can overcome our   How Moses Overcame Racism on page 2
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