2019 Women’s March

During the past few weeks there has been a flurry of articles related to the Women’s March scheduled for January 19th in Washington D.C. and cities across America. The key bone of contention revolves around concern that organizers of the Women’s March are antisemitic. After it was made known that Tamika Mallory, one of the co-presidents of the Women’s March attended a speech delivered by Minister Louis Farrakhan, whose views reflect a visceral antisemitism. Marches in both New Orleans and Chicago have been cancelled. Currently, two marches, organized by two different groups, are scheduled in NYC. Clearly, whether to participate and which march to join, is a sensitive and potentially explosive decision. On the one hand, there is a desire to demonstrate unity over common concerns and issues, and on the other hand, intolerance and antisemitism cannot go unchecked. Surely, there is one viewpoint that condemns Israel as an oppressor of the Palestinians, similar to those who feel that women and people of color have been oppressed. The Jewish Community is divided as to support for the March. The URJ will not endorse or condemn but will leave it to each congregation to determine its participation.
We, at the The Village Temple, are debating the sides as well. To that end, there will be a meeting next Wednesday at 5 pm to discuss our options as a congregation. For the past two years, participation in the Women’s March was supported by the Board. In addition, at services tonight, I will be reviewing the issues and soliciting input from service participants. If this issue is a concern for you, I encourage you to attend either, our Kabbalat Shabbat service tonight at 6:45, or the meeting next Wednesday. We know that many of our congregants marched in previous years under various banners, Planned Parenthood to mention just one. The current controversary now positions us to look at the March through both an ethical and a Jewish lens. For those who have marched with other organization, I’d welcome hearing how you reached your decision to participate or not this year. Shabbat Shalom.