Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Action #8: Called about Rex Tillerson

I called both of my senators and asked them to block nomination of Rex Tillerson.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Action #7: Gave a drash

The rabbi was away at a Shabbaton so they needed another speaker and asked me to do it. Here's the draft I worked from though the way I said it was a little different. He asked me not to be political, so I gave my message without going there directly, emphasizing the importance of speaking up, however challenging:

            I’m really honored to have been asked to speak this Shabbat while Rabbi Block is away and I’m really pleased by the timing. My parents are visiting so they can be here. I have only really begun to like public speaking since I became an adult and moved away from home so they have hardly ever heard me speak in a setting like this. As a kid I was always a writer, but often I kept my writing to myself. After all, I didn’t know if it was good enough or what people would think of me or if what I had to say was important enough.
            With this in mind it really makes sense then that when I opened the parsha what interested me the most was about speech, difficult speech specifically persuasive speech, speech that sometimes changes the course of history, and hard it can be to say what you need to say.
            In the previous parsha, Hashem told Moshe to speak to Pharoah about letting the people go. Moshe objected, saying he didn’t stand a chance of speaking clearly enough,
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Action #6: Immigration rally

Rabbi Helfgot from Netivot Shalom
Attended rally in Teaneck just now about the immigration ban.

I was very proud to see two students from my school there. I made a point of going over to them and telling them how glad I was that they came. In term, I'm really glad they saw a teacher supporting them.

There were mostly Muslims at this rally, but also people from all other groups. I was glad to see a lot of kippot there. I'm realizing how incredibly important it is to show up at these local rallies not only as Americans, but as Jews specifically. I don't just want the Trump administration to see our opposition... I also want these other groups to see that we are there with them. With tensions so high, people can turn against each other and I don't want to be thought of as the "them" in "us and them."


Friday, January 27, 2017

Action #5: Protecting first amendment

Called Bill Pascrell in regard to gag orders on EPA. Got a real person on the phone and had a nice chat with her. When I was done she asked,

"Is there anything else?"

My answer:

"Plenty, but I'll leave it at that one for today. Thanks for your help."

P.S. I'm signing petitions constantly too, but not writing about them here because I understand that they are as effective as phone calls or as some of the other things I'm trying to do.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Action #4: asking for help

Reached out to a progressive rabbi for help in assembling relevant Torah quotes to use when demonstrating that the things we are fighting for -- respect for environment, immigrants, protection of health care, civil rights etc. etc. etc. are Torah values.


Next step?

I'm getting overwhelmed by too many horrific issues coming up from the White House. I think I need to narrow my focus somehow.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Action 3: Sierra Club monthly donation

Created automatic monthly donation to Sierra Club in response to this disgusting slap in the face so soon after what we thought was a victory at the Dakota Pipeline.


Action #2: Donation to save bees

Made a donation to Sum Of Us to help try to save bees.

No bees, no food, no food, no anyone.

It's feeling more and more to me like we could reach that point.


Monday, January 23, 2017

New Balance's response

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to New Balance.

New Balance does not and has never endorsed a candidate for political office in our 110-year history.  While all New Balance associates are encouraged to be civically engaged, an employee or executive’s support of a candidate or a political party is a personal act and does not translate into a company endorsement. Our 6,000 global employees are focused on delivering high-quality innovative performance and lifestyle products for our consumers, protecting and growing our American manufacturing jobs, and giving back to our communities where we live and work. 


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Action 1/22/17

This is Action #1 post-inauguration (I've done a lot in the past few weeks too, but I'd like to see if I can log 100 actions here, starting now):

Today after consulting this list of Trump Boycotts, I wrote to New Balance, told them how much I rely on their shoes, and then asked if it's true that their CEO supported Trump or a Trump super PAC. I regrettably informed them that if it is true I will need to stop buying their shoes.


Friday, January 20, 2017


After the election, I went into activism overdrive. I signed up for lists of daily actions like making phone calls to government officials.

It wasn't as easy as it sounds. I do not have private space in which to work during the day and I have to be careful to be non-political in the school environment where I work.

Worse though, I stopped sleeping well, was depressed and fearful not only of what was happening but of everyone around me. (The election has not been the only shock in my life. Losing a dear friend to breast cancer shortly before as well as some other new and personal challenges in my life have made this school year extremely difficult.)

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