“And they shall sit under their vine and their fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”
I find it hard to confront the fact that I am about to turn 90. My thoughts often return to the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s and to the tensions of those turbulent years. In response to the hatred of that violent era, we created the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. Of course the prejudice and violence that revealed the need for a Jewish voice for justice had been evident for many, many years, but the creation of JCUA offered a tangible way for us to put our values into action.
“What do you want for your birthday?’ dear friends ask, and my answer invariably is “nothing.” Wrong! There is something I want. And that is assurance that the crucial work of our Jewish Council on Urban Affairs may continue. Fifty three years ago, we confronted racial hatred. We confronted residential discrimination. We confronted poverty and violence. Today we confront hatred and discrimination and poverty and violence. So after many years of struggle, it is reasonable to ask whether we have failed in our historic mission. I think not. The battle between justice and injustice is a never ending one. Too many of those who are powerful allow their selfish dreams of immediate gain to cast an eclipse shadow upon the long term health of our cities, our society, our planet. The work of JCUA is more important than ever.
For all these years I have felt uncomfortable about asking for money. But I am not uncomfortable now. Renew your membership today. Or if you haven’t yet, now is the right time! Do it for me; but more importantly do it so that our constant Jewish voice for justice remains strong. And draw strength from the sure knowledge that you have done a good and important thing. May we join together again as we seek a world of freedom and health, a world of justice and hope, a world in which “none shall make them afraid.”
Thank you and bless you.
– Rabbi Robert Marx