Archive for February, 2010

RRC student Leslie Hilgeman just published an op ed in the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent about a recent experience  reaching out to  staff members from Haiti at the Jewish senior residence where she serves as a student chaplain. You can read it here.

Hilgeman’s  piece tells a powerful story of  how caring human encounter can transcend the divisions of faith traditions.  She was hired to serve the Jewish residents; she wore a kippah and led Hebrew services; differences of class and race set her apart from the non Jewish staff. Both learned something new from this experience.  On her side, she writes, “I have advocated for building interfaith relationships because I believe in its political importance, but until that evening, I still had some doubts about the limits of such connectedness on a spiritual level.”  As for the non Jewish staff members, Hilgeman quotes a nurse saying, “We are all one. I wasn’t sure about this before, but now I know.”

Many of us have had similar experiences, often in the wake of tremendous upheavals that compel us to forge connections we might not have imagined.  How do we keep that energy fresh and vital in calmer times? What are its limits?

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