CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 5

THE CCAR WELCOMES JULIE VANEK, RJE, TO THE STAFF
JULIE VANEK
joined the CCAR staff at
the beginning of May as
the Education Specialist,
working with Betsy Torop
in the Department of
Continuing Rabbinic
Education. She is already
planning webinars for the
coming year as well as jumping right into the
work for Convention 2022. Julie is a graduate
of HUC-JIR's Rhea Hirsch School of Education
and the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit
Management and is currently a Clinical Faculty
Mentor in the Executive MA Program in Jewish
Education. Julie was the director of lifelong
Jewish learning at Temple Shalom in Newton,
MA, for 24 years and, more recently, was the
NAORRR The Many Plagues of Covid
It's been sixteen months since our lives were upended
by a catastrophic pandemic, and we're finally getting
a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. What a
difficult experience. We need to take stock of what
has happened and how our lives have been affected.
As retired rabbis, we may not have experienced the
same difficulties as those who are still active in the
rabbinate, trying to lead meaningful worship over
Zoom, conducting distanced funerals, making
virtual pastoral visits, and the like. But we have
certainly experienced the many traumas our whole
society has endured, plagues that are in some ways
even worse and more enduring than the virus.
As seniors, we have witnessed and experienced firsthand
three plagues in particular over six, seven, even
eight decades.
We've known the plague of racism our entire lives.
Some of us marched in Selma, others were Freedom
Riders or worked on voter registration. We lobbied
for the Civil Rights Act, and we reached out to our
Black neighbors. We watched in shock as angry
mobs tried to prevent school integration, requiring
intervention by the National Guard. We had hoped
the country had turned a corner to end Jim Crow.
But, of course, it didn't end, and this past year has
brought us the undeniable proof that systemic racism
still has a grip on our society. Horrific brutality that
led to the senseless deaths of so many, especially at
the hands of police, underscored the awakening that
Black lives do matter. Our work is not done; we must
step up our efforts to combat racism against Black,
Brown, and Asian Americans and to provide no
sanctuary for bigotry in our nation.
We've known the plague of gun violence almost as
long. My own commitment to gun control stems
from the murder of my mother-in-law in 1971.
We've been supporters of gun control legislation
before Brady, before Everytown, and yet the violence
not only has continued, it has grown exponentially
in the last few years. And Congress has failed to act.
What other country on earth has experienced so
many civilian mass killings this year? Day after day
people are being gunned down, slaughtered in their
places of work, their supermarket, their movie theater,
their restaurant-even their school! Where can one
be assured of safety from such indiscriminate horror?
We have never experienced such a blood-bath and
we must harness our moral outrage to ensure that
Congress will address this issue and pass tough laws
to keep our communities safe.
WRN The Importance of Reporting Harassment and Misconduct
The leaders of the WRN have heard not only from
people of all genders sharing their stories with us,
but also from people struggling to decide whether
to report harassment, assault, and misconduct to
the investigations opened by our Reform Movement
institutions and congregations. We have also heard
from those who witnessed misconduct and are
wondering if it would be helpful to report. We are
grateful that you have trusted us with your stories and
with your thoughts about reporting. Know that we
continue to be present for each of you.
As we share about the importance of reporting, we
know that whether to report harassment, misconduct,
or assault is a deeply personal decision and often a
difficult one. And al achat kama v'chama, when the
incident one is considering reporting was traumatic,
and/or if the survivor has already reported in the past
and was met with a poor response.
Reporting by survivors and witnesses is essential to
preventing and responding to all forms of sexual
and discriminatory misconduct. Reporting to an
investigation is extremely valuable, even if you need
to report to multiple investigations if your report
involves more than one institution. You should also
consider making an ethics claim if the report involves
a living CCAR rabbi or ACC cantor. CCAR and
ACC processes have no time limitation for reporting,
and information shared with you is reportable.
For some, reporting can be a vital way to regain
control after experiencing victimization. In these
independent investigations, you can report using
your name or you can choose to remain anonymous.
While anonymity limits aspects of investigation, it
can support others' reports and enable investigators
to understand the institutional culture, which is
key to creating safe and respectful environments
moving forward.
As CCAR members, we each have a vested interest
in our Movement's institutions, organizations, and
congregations being safe and respectful environments
for all. Reporting enables thorough investigations that
are an essential step toward needed accountability.
We know that for so many this has been a trying
time. We believe in our Movement and our
Movement's ability to create cultures of respect
and safety for everyone who interacts with our
institutions, organizations, and congregations, in
alignment with the values we all hold dear. This is
an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate to the
broader world the meaning of accountability, safety,
and healing. The WRN will continue to be present
for each of you and a partner to our Movement
institutions in this important work.
Emily Segal
Co-president, Women's Rabbinic Network
And we've known the plague of antisemitism
for centuries. Of course, it's always been around,
but we had the sense that after the Holocaust,
after the 1960s, antisemitism had been banished from
these shores. Our gentile neighbors embraced us and
we felt secure in this " melting pot. " But it was always
simmering under the surface, and it was released
with a frenzy the past couple of years. Neo-Nazis,
white supremacist groups have multiplied faster
than locusts. Today, it is shocking, yet familiar, when
synagogues are vandalized, Jews beaten in the streets,
and wearing face masks is compared to the yellow
star on the clothes of German Jews. Perhaps we had
become too complacent and not vigilant enough. It's
time we redouble our efforts to combat the scourge of
antisemitism.
As seniors, we've seen it all before, like a bad dream.
But just because we're retired, it doesn't mean we've
stopped worrying about these issues; we must continue
our efforts to make our communities, our nation, our
world, more kind, more safe, more accepting. And we
invite all our colleagues to work with us.
Julian I. Cook
Co-executive Vice President, NAORRR
director of learning and engagement at
Boston's Combined Jewish Philanthropies.
Julie is a past president of the Association
of Reform Jewish Educators and is the
chairperson of the Reform Jewish Educator
(RJE) Title Granting Commission. Julie
looks forward to bringing her educational
experience to the CCAR's learning programs!

CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021

CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 1
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 2
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 3
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 4
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 5
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 6
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 7
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 8
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 9
CCAR Newsletter July/August 2021 - 10
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