Saturday, May 07, 2016

The leadership of my students gives me strength

היום ארבעה עשר יום שהם שני שבועות בעמר
Today is fourteen days--that is two weeks--of the omer
מלכות שבגבורה
A day of leadership in a week of strength

As we end this second week of the omer, I gain strength from the leadership potential of the next generation.

This afternoon I went to see Dance Brigade's Grrrl Brigade perform. "What is that?" you ask.  On their web page, you'll see:

"The GRRRL Brigade is an intensive dance/leadership development program designed to provide high quality dance training, performance opportunities, and a sense of self-empowerment for San Francisco's girls ages 9 to 18. Our goal is to give the girls, their parents, and our audience the inspiration, magic, and hope only evocative dance theater can spark in creating a just and peaceful world."

What I can say is "Wow......" Their expression of the environmental and social impact that climate change is and and will continue to have on our world, on THEIR world, through dance and drum and spoken word, was powerful. These girls have a mindfulness that they are not alone in this world, that we need to work together to create. They use fully use body & soul as their voice to bring this mindfulness to us. As long as their vision stays strong, there is hope.

And then I got an email from a student who is applying for a Jewish Teen Foundation. This touched me on two levels. First, that he feels the pull to participate in the program--connecting the values of the Jewish people with a need to make a difference; fulfilling the precept of tikun olam, repair of the world. At his bar mitzvah, he taught about the need to protect the land. Perhaps that had an influence on his decision to pursue this fellowship.

And then there is the personal level that touched me. He wrote:  ". . . they asked for someone as a reference that could speak about my character. One of the examples they gave was a religious leader, so I put your name down and contact information down." What can I say :)  For all my whining about not being a rabbi, not able to get respect on that level---my students know, to them, I am their rabbi.

A perfect message to end to this day of leadership and strength.

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