Parashat Vaera

Two Minutes of Torah with Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky

But Moses appealed to the LORD, saying, “The Israelites would not listen to me; how then should Pharaoh heed me, a man of impeded speech!”

—Exodus 6:12

It is difficult to be the singular voice speaking out for a cause.  Often people ignore such individuals or respond passively because they are simply afraid to challenge the status quo. Friends and allies can amplify a courageous voice and magnify its impact.
Moses understood the challenges and perils of assuming the mantle of leadership.   At some level he obviously felt inadequate and unprepared to be the chief spokesperson for his people.  He readily accepted help from his brother Aaron, knowing that this relationship would ultimately help everyone.

Coalitions are a key component of JCRC’s work.  JCRC partners with many organizations throughout Greater Washington, ranging from synagogues to multifaith commissions. One new partnership is with the Black and Brown Coalition in support of equitable resources for students in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Last week, JCRC was pleased to have our board member June Trone testify before the Montgomery County Board of Education  in support of the Coalition’s asks, adding our community’s voice to many others who spoke about the need for stronger leadership in schools and increased access to advanced classes for students of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Why would our voice matter if many other groups were already involved? How could we have any impact? And how will lending our voice to the Black and Brown Coalition help combat the rising tide of antisemitism many Jewish students experience in their schools? Strong leaders, strong teachers, and equitable access helps all students, not just one segment of the population. JCRC joined this coalition knowing that the relationship has the potential to help all students in different ways. In a time of uncertainty and hateful rhetoric, it feels less scary to have someone beside you when you speak out against injustice. Our voices are better heard when we join together in unison, with a shared vision and goal.