My community is bigger than your button

Jonathan Madoff2.15.18
In this era of “my button is bigger than yours,” the words ‘destabilizing’  and ‘unsettling’ come to mind. I am transported back in time to 2009, just after I made Aliya when I was hearing the rhetoric coming out of the Israeli Prime Minister’s office visa vis-a-vis a nuclear Iran. Call me naïve or unsophisticated, but I was scared then and that feeling is creeping back. The big question that comes to my mind is: how do we cope with these terrifying times?

Approximately 2,600 years ago the prophet Jeremiah, when delivering the Lord’s vision for the people of Israel, proclaimed, “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8)

I do not proclaim to be capable of answering these questions on a global level, I’ll leave that to others. The topic is too general, too broad, too esoteric. What I do know is that when the world is spinning out of control we turn to our own communities for support. That is how it has always been and always will be.

Personally, when I think about community, I think about my community, Ramah, and I have to tell you – Ramah is a wonderful model for the world.

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About the Author

Jonathan Madoff is the director of Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY), a high school study abroad program in Israel. Jonathan grew up in Owings Mills, Maryland and made Aliya in 2009. He holds an MSW from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and worked as a foster care and high school social worker in Southwest and North Philadelphia before moving to Israel. Jonathan lives with his wife Roni, and son, Yuval, in Jerusalem.