Submitted by Rabbi Arthur Waskow on
We’ve just begun the new year, the year when the world needs Transformation.
The Shalom Center has been encouraging the growth of a transformative sense of the Spirit. A spirit of community and comraderie, not of cruelty and subjugation.
To keep doing this, we need your help.
We write and send out Shalom Reports to hearten your Spirit in harsh times, and to encourage your action against cruelty. We receive hundreds of letters -- Thanking us. Promising to undertake an action we have recommended. Inviting us to speak. Asking us for information about Jewish, Christian, and Muslim festivals, about where to find an ancient wisdom teaching.
We write, we research, we respond. All of this costs money. We need your help. Yes, your help.
We take action ourselves. We visited prisons filled with children whose parents asked for asylum in the US from cruel violence at
home, and were met instead with cruelty by our own government and by the official kidnapping of their children. We were arrested for nonviolently blocking an ICE office that was haunting schools and hospitals to arrest and deport refugees. We challenged fake biblical quotes by a government official, and showed how the Bible specifically forbids deporting refugees who are fleeing a cruel overlord.
We organized a vigil that brought together hundreds of letters quoting the Bible to rebuke the corrupt Earth-destroying behavior of EPA Administrator Pruitt, and we helped force him to resign in disgrace.
We spoke at a rally calling for a No vote on a Supreme Court nominee named by a corrupt President in the hope of protecting himself from
investigation. We did not speak “politically”; we brought to bear the biblical teaching about how to protect the people from a cruel and wanton king who is deliberately choosing to endanger human civilization and the web of life on earth, to magnify the already enormous wealth of the Corporate Carbon Pharaohs.
We write, we speak, we get arrested. All of this costs money. We need your help. Yes, truly: your help.
And we provided a creative way of drawing on the powerful moment of Yom Kippur to carry into the public streets the Prophet Isaiah’s outcry for the poor, for prisoners, and for the powerless. This coming Friday, we will send you a new translation of Isaiah in time for you to use it in your congregation this Yom Kippur.
Week after week for the past month, we provided creative materials to help you Share Sukkot: Grow the Vote. Facing a crucial election, we provided guides for you to hold “Sukkah parties” to register new voters and follow up to make sure they vote, along with photo-posters to bring heroes of voting rights into our sukkot as “ushpizin,” sacred guests.
All of this costs money. We need your help.
In the year just past, a Brooklyn synagogue became the first in the country to move its money from a bank that invests in Big Oil to burn our planet, to a community bank that invests in neighborhood needs. Their announcement quotes The Shalom Center’s “Move Our Money/ Protect Our Planet” proposal. (The initials spell MOM_POP.) We think the Jewish community is ready for that grass-roots effort, and we intend to turn that proposal into a campaign. That will cost money. We need your help to make it happen.
Look at The Shalom Center's logo. Translating the graphic into words: Together, we have the whole world in our hands. The rocks and the rivers, the frogs and the forests. All our children and all their children.
So please contribute by clicking on the maroon “Contribute” button on the left-hand margin of this page. In this year of Transformation, you can help us help you heal our country, our planet, and your own neighborhood. That is what the Breath of Life is calling us all to do.