Report on an MVHC Social Action meeting on Racism
– Wednesday, July 20, 2016
A dozen members of the congregation gathered in the H. B. Freedberg Learning Center (the Social Hall) on a beautiful day to talk about the resurgence of racial violence in our country. Convened by the Social Action Committee and facilitated by Joy Robinson-Lynch, we explored how the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center might contribute a Jewish perspective on the situation. Each of us talked about our own individual experiences with white privilege-- the advantages that we, as whites, gain just because of our skin color. This was emotionally wrenching for many of us. More difficult intellectually was understanding how white privilege and racism suffuse our schools, workplaces, courts, media, and other institutions by automatically giving greater advantages to whites over non-whites. Such inequalities are legitimated and taken for granted in institutional racism. When such racism is baked into our systems of power and our systems of thought, we have the most profound and destructive form called structural racism.
The group then engaged in a wide-ranging discussion of what we, as Jews, can bring to the discussions and actions taking place across the country. We were especially concerned about working with the island, starting first with our congregation and other island congregations and moving outward to the NAACP, our longtime collaborator, and to the Black Lives Matter movement. Other creative ideas came up. Now we need your ideas and look forward to seeing you at our second meeting on Wednesday, August 3 at 5:30 in the Learning Center.
HOMELESS IN PARADISE
18 people are currently known to be homeless on Martha's Vineyard. There are probably many more living in their cars or on couches somewhere. Imagine not having a place to sleep in this weather!
The Tzedakah Committee is trying to help by giving a donation for emergency shelter for homeless people in hotels and motels that have cut their rates. If you can also help with donations, please send a check to the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, P.O. Box 692, 130 Center Street. Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
On the Memo line at the bottom of the check, write Tzedakah Committee- Homeless Project.
The Social Action Committee together with the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew School once again has collected donations for the Island Food Pantry over the High Holy Day season. Please join us in this effort as we continue to do our part of Tikun Olam for our community.
If you have food in your pantry, please consider donating unopened, not outdated non-perishable items. You can drop them in the Hebrew Center's lobby any time the office is open (Tues-Thurs 9-3, Fri 9-1).
Or, if you will be joining us for services or other events, please bring an empty grocery bag and return it filled with non-perishable items to stock the Food Pantry's shelves.
If you are unable to bring a filled bag of food, monetary donations are also mofood pantryst welcome. Checks should be made out to the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center with "Hunger Project" written in the memo line.
For a national effort, there are envelopes on the lobby table for Mazon.
Any questions, call Lisa Epstein at 508-693-8181.
Acts of Loving Kindness
At any Moment in Time, Our Congregational Members may be in Need-Not of Charity-but in Need of Acts of Loving Kindness!
In order for the Caring Committee to do its best job, we need to know who needs a ride to services, who welcomes a visit, who is ill, and who needs a meal. Please contact the office, and a member of our committee will be in touch. We want to know, for the Caring Committee cares!
Nancy Salon, Chair (telephone: 508 693 1922).