Feb. 22, 2013
The following is the acceptance speech Rabbi Broitman gave at the MV-NAACP dinner on February 18th, where she along with 3 other people, were given an award “in recognition of outstanding service to the Martha’s Vineyard Branch of the NAACP.”
I want to express my deepest gratitude to the MV-NAACP and its leadership for this award. I feel honored tonight for many reasons. First, I have the highest respect for the MV-NAACP and the work you do on the Island. The Hebrew Center has been honored to co-sponsor events together with you and, more importantly, become friends and allies in making the Island and the broader world a more just place for everyone. We have spent Passover Seders together, sponsored concerts together, celebrated Martin Luther King Day together for many years. We have a long connection that goes back to one of our members, Kivie Kaplan, may his memory be for a blessing, who was president of the national NAACP between 1966 and 1975. And of course, the connection continues with Herb Foster, who has been so vital to both our organizations for many years. I, along with many in the Hebrew Center community treasure the relationships and friendships we have made and look forward to continuing our work together.
I am also so honored to be accepting an award at a dinner to honor the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who has been a constant source of inspiration to me as a Rabbi, a Jew, and an American. Reverend King’s prophetic vision saw deep into the sources of injustice that plague our society to this very day. What made him unusual was the way he could communicate both the reality of injustice and the vision of love. He refused to demonize anyone and believed that every one of us could open our hearts to learn, to change and to love. Most of us are able at any one time to focus on one or the other—the truth of injustice or the compassion and openheartedness of love. Reverend King refused to choose one or the other. His vision of the beloved community insisted on both. His writings and his actions continue to teach and inspire me on my own journey of faith and journey to work in the world for that “beloved community.”
I would like to end with a Jewish blessing that I am sending out to everyone here and beyond . . .
“May the One who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless the—leaders and members of the MV_NAACP as well as their supporters, friends and allies-- who through the example of their lives and through their time and dedication, work with others to bring about justice and love on this Island and in this world. May their work be blessed and their dedication strengthened, and may the fruits of their labor be multiplied in their lifetime and in generations to come.”