You taught us well

January 8, 2012 by

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Dear Los Angeles Jewish community who raised us,

First of all, I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving us opportunities, education and the chance to be whomever we want to be.

We grew up in a privileged environment, and we really do appreciate it. You taught us so much about the world, and for a long time whatever you said was all that mattered. You gave us a Jewish education through Jewish day school, camp, Hebrew school, temple and family Shabbat dinners that taught us how to braid challah, read Torah and love Israel.

Yes, we learned to love Israel. We went to Israel on exchange programs, youth-group trips, family vacations. We climbed Masada, floated in the Dead Sea and had unforgettable experiences at the Western Wall. We visited family, learned Hebrew and made friendships that will last a lifetime. We found our second home.

We went off to college and you told us to learn — learn to think critically, write a research paper, explore new interests, befriend people from other cultures. As much as you may think we don’t listen, you may be surprised to find that we aren’t sullen teenagers anymore. We listened. We are studying at 2 a.m., joining clubs, making new friends and, most of all, thinking critically. About everything. Including Israel.

Here is where we have reached a contradiction in our education. You see, you always told us to be the change we wish to see. To make a difference. To ask questions. To not stand idly by. Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof — seek justice, and pursue it. So we have. We were the leaders of the community service clubs, volunteered at SOVA, and lobbied our government to fight against discrimination and social injustice in the United States. To Full Post

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