We’re halfway through Elul, a month that invites us to wake up our souls ahead of the holiest part of the Jewish calendar.
Elul practices like blowing the shofar and selichot, prayers for forgiveness, are designed to call our attention to how we are taking care of each other. I am inspired by Elul as an acronym for ani l'dodi ve' dodi li, a line from the Song of Songs: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” Who are your beloveds and how do they experience love from you? How can you deepen your love for your people? And how do you expand who you love and care about, so it’s really all of us?
Victoria Raggs is the co-founding Executive Director for the Atlanta Jews of Color Council. For over 15 years, she has worked as a Jewish professional to affirm, elevate, and celebrate diversity. In her video, she asks:
“How can we spark conversation to make room for the people at the margins and bring them into the center? … Safety for me is being able to give feedback about how our community can do better without being considered a nuisance or complainer. … What’s your vision for safety? Can I take up space authentically with you?”
Is there space for feedback and diversity in your beloved communities? The coming new year is a chance to reflect, account, imagine, and then begin anew.
Bend the Arc is organizing Jewish communities around the country to broaden who our beloveds are and build institutions and policies that create more community care and safety.
There are key opportunities coming up in September, including lobbying for a federal budget that divests from the systems that harm us and invests in care, health, and our collective future. Stay with us for more details soon.