Currently, I am in DC with our 9th grade class at the Religious Action Center’s L’taken Seminar, a conference that teaches our students about the intersection of social justice and Jewish values. I have taken many students to this seminar over the years, and with each iteration I am more and more impressed with the depth of your young people’s thought and caring.
As I write this, our students are in sessions with members of the RAC staff learning about key current issues going on in our nation today, and they are learning about the reform Jewish voice on that issue. What is the reform Jewish perspective on nuclear proliferation? On a woman’s right to reproductive choice? On gun violence and control?
With each opportunity, I have watched as our students discover interest and passion for many of these key issues. They are pushing themselves to ask what they believe to be right for our country based on the values of their tradition. In some cases they agree, and in others they realize their perspective may be more complicated than they first expected. Last night, a student stayed up with our other chaperone exploring the issue of prisoners’ rights and prison policies. Such a conversation we hope to be a novel experience for our students, but typical of the experience at L’taken.
Tonight the students will prepare for their Monday morning meetings with our Massachusetts Senators’ and Representative Frank’s staffs. I’ll write more about that experience later. For now, suffice it to say that our students have brought an openness to this conference that has prompted good learning and phenomenal conversation.