The recent mass shooting in Parkland, FL, has sparked a groundswell of grassroots reaction. Perhaps because the killings occurred at a high school and not an elementary school, the call to action has gained momentum. High School students are savvy social media users, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students have ignited a renewed demand for stricter gun laws in our country.
Several marches have been scheduled, including the walk out that took place recently in schools across the country.
On March 24, students from Parkland will organize and participate in March for Our Lives in Washington, DC. Other marches are being scheduled across the country.
As many of you know, on March 23, Isabel Dunst was scheduled to be our Shabbat HaGadol guest speaker. Liz is the chair of the Religious Action Center for the Reform Movement (RAC). The RAC will be planning a pre-march gathering – details are being worked out. Liz has rescheduled her time with us for April 20th, the same night our teens will present on the RAC trip in DC they recently experienced.
We have already received inquiries as to what our congregation may be doing. It is my intention to be in Washington for the March. I am planning on renting a van and if we have 6-7 people going it will be cost efficient.
I realize, as with previous marches, some will choose to go to Washington and others will participate in a NYC march.
If you think you would be going to DC, please email Emily Hacker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since I will be in Israel until 3/13 Emily is helping to coordinate. In time, the RAC will need to know numbers so they can find an appropriate location to gather close to the starting point of the march. In August, for the 1000 Ministers March, we gathered at the Mandarin Oriental, for speeches and song. I believe the RAC gathering will have similar components plus a brief Shabbat worship service.
If you think you might be interested in the NYC march, let me know as well.
Rabbi Deborah Hirsch