tv Mosaic CBS May 21, 2017 5:00am-5:31am PDT
>> good morning. and welcome to mosaic. i am rabbi eric weiss. i am honored to be your host. people are asking important questions about how do we care for one another? how do we get to know one another? how do we form leaders into the next generation? we would like to invite you into a conversation with some of the ways the jewish community is answering those questions by inviting you into a conversation with some israelis here from a special organization. in hebrew the name means hues.
i would like to introduce you to the rabbi of the free synagogue of jerusalem and freedman works for an important organization which is a legal services corporation for ethiopia. welcome. >> good to be here. >> let's ask you, what does this do? >> it means hue. it brings together leaders of different segments of the israeli society, people from the orthodox world. i am a reformed rabbi. people from a mid eastern background, european background, people from different sorb i can economical statuses. we are there in order to work together, in order to create a group that will deepen the pluralis tick nature of the
society. >> in israel when we think of pluralism or pluralistic, what does that mean to you? >> as a person, it means to get to know others, others from the society, to be open minded and sigh there are different people around us which you don't meet every day. but we usually judge them by the way they look, way they think, way the they walk, what they are wearing, what language they're speaking. at the end of the day when you gather them into the room together and you find out you have things in common, maybe even differences, but you are open minded to learn to each other in order to create a better society that we wish our kids raised in. >> what attracted you in
particular? >> the one thing i was really actually looking for is to be part of a group that would create something. i don't know what kind of a thing. when i got there and i met different people, it actually opened my eyes how many choices do i have as a person in this world whether to create something or to be joined to something that is happening and what can i bring from myself in order to help that group to succeed? i am very happy that i got there. >> rabbi, can you talk a little bit about even some of the diss you have already noticed in yourself or in the group of people that you have come to meet for yourself within this context? >> sure. first of all, it's really wonderful to me to make new friends. i mean, i have orthodox friends. i have friends from different size of the israeli society
that i don't encounter every day. that really first of all opens my heart. because i believe that the way to make change is to meet people on the personal level. that can really change. it can change my life. it can change the lives of the people around me. it raises my curiosity. it really empowers me in a way that, you know, i feel i can make a difference. it's not only about me. it's about the people that are with me in the group. i feel that together we can really make a change if we continue these wonderful connections and friendships that we are forming. >> how many of you are there? >> 15 i believe. >> can you give me an idea of the structure, what you do during the course of a year, what you do together? >> we meet once a month. every meeting takes place in a
different location. >> for a full day. >> right. it's led by one of the members in the group. for example, we had a day in jerusalem where the community is. we had a day in jerusalem at the reformed college. we had a day, you know, in the south of jerusalem led by a member of the group who was active in advancing people in israel. so every day it is led by a different member of the group and deals with the topics he/she presents. >> when you say people on the periphery meaning on the margins of israeli society. >> right. >> as an example, it's hard to talk about populations and not seem stereotypical but for the
sake of language what's an example in israel society of somebody on the periphery. >> if talking about geographic periphery, we know the big cities are jewish and tell sieve. then you have other cities. then you have people who live in the south, the outskirts. we have a member in the group that's a representative of the israeli russian community. >> yes. >> we have, you know, members that really represent different people of different colors and shades and tastes. it's really a privilege to be part of such a group. >> if i may add to that -- >> sure. we will take a quick break and we will come back in just a moment here on mosaic.
>> good morning. welcome back to mosaic. i am rabbi eric weiss. i am honored to be your host. we are in a wonderful conversation about ways people get to know each other and move into areas of leadership in this case in israel. we want to reintroduce you. you work for an organization which provides free legal services to ethiopians and israelis. welcome back. >> nice to be here. >> let's talk a rib about your -- little bit about your broader framework. what brings you to the area? i am wondering if you can talk
about the connection for us. >> the program is actually established by the san francisco federation in israel. this is the 13th group. they are having the same programs here in san francisco and actually all over the united states, i think. it's a little bit different from what we are having in israel, so this is the connection. i think one of the things that the federation is actually trying to create is to take all the differences and the kinds of people in the israel society and putting them together and asking really hard questions about our identity, how do you see the israel society, how do we see our future? it's probably different from the discussions that the groups in the united states are having although we have some common things. >> the 13th cohort, so it means the 13th year of the
federation's program in israel. can you talk a little bit about the kind of impact that you have seen that it's had in israel from what you see? i imagine something about the impact is what attracted you to say you would like to be part of the current cohort. >> i believe that, you know, this can really change lots of things. because normally people from different ends of society do not necessarily meet and are very detached from one another. i keep going back to the orthodox point but that's a meaningful point. the community is very separate from the rest of the people. this bridge is a very important one, especially for me as a reformed rabbi. so i really am very, very hopeful and very optimistic that we can really work on
projects together. we can bring people closer. i serve in a community in jerusalem that's very diverse. in this community, there is tension between the ultra orthodox residents and the other residents in the neighborhood. i am very, very hopeful that thanks to the relationships that i am forming during this year, we can really bring people closer. we can have people talk to each other. >> can you talk a little bit about the two of you together? you are two of a larger cohort. >> right. >> but can you just give us a little bit of a sense, each of you, like where you come from, where your families come from? you kind of illustrate in your own personhood what the diversity of israeli society really is. >> i immigrate to israel with my family when i was 7 from ethiopia. i identified myself as a jewish israeli woman who had been born
in ethiopia but raised in israel. i work a lot in the society for the past few years because i do believe that the community's actually struggling for equal rights, for having justice, especially when it comes to the community who are immigrants. but i also believe and am optimistic about how our society in israel became very open minded about everything without judging. any time i came to the name of some of the participants, they knew if you are jewish in israel, see them on the tv and in the newspapers, not always in a good way. but for the first time to see it together and to see that we may think the same thing about the israel society or even our lives as parents, as children,
as part of the country, and seeing a different angle of the goodness of the community. i think i feel the same way about other people too in the group. so i think if the program wanted to create this open minded thing, it's really happening. >> wonderful. in a moment we are going to take a break but rabbi, let us know about where you come from and your family. >> my father was american, is from brooklyn. he immigrated to israel in '69. my mother immigrated to israel from iraq. she came to israel. they met there. within me, i have a european side and a middle eastern side. those are two very, very important sides of my personality. i try to portray them in what i do. >> i am curious to know, in youry,you grow up speaking english, hebrew, and
arabic? >> mostly hebrew. i think both of my parents wanted to raise an israeli kid that talks hebrew. that was something that was important to them. that's why they immigrated to israel. >> wonderful. believe it or not, we need to say good-bye. thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. >> we will return in a moment to continue the conversation about the ways we care for one another and form leadership in each generation. join us in a moment back here on mosaic.
good morning. welcome back to mosaic. i am rabbi eric weiss. i am honored to be your host. we are in a wonderful conversation about the ways we get to know each other, ways we care for each other and how that influences leaders in the next generation. i would like to introduce you to board members of the jewish community federation in san francisco, officially
federation of san francisco, marin, sonoma counties. welcome. >> thank you. >> can you talk a little bit about the ways in which you see an example in which our jewish community has a commitment to leadership development really in our own community but also in the state of israel? >> sure. so i think that the name is representative of our federation's overall mission and strategy for the way that we connect to israel, the way that we invest in israel with the overarching goal being to inspire and help create a shared society. as you heard in the previous conversations, this is really at the heart of the effort, bringing people together from across israeli society, from different communities, different religious backgrounds, different heritages even, bringing them together for a shared experience to understand
themselves as jews and as israelis and as part of the larger mosaic that makes up israeli society. >> you know, the san francisco bay area is so diverse in general but certainly within the jewish community. we are jews of color. we are lgbt. we are jews from various backgrounds, immigration backgrounds. many, many russian jews and many other folks. certainly even in an intraamerican society way, there are lots of people in the bay area who come from other states in the country. so i am just wondering in that broader context how the federation think about leadership development among ourselves here in our community? can i turn to you, alex, to jump into that? >> absolutely, rabbi, thank you. i think federation as an
example, that is a convener of people and services in our community, understands importance of bringing everybody into a big community tent, not having silos. a big word today in our community is engagement. leadership is another big word. and i think engagement is something that wholly depends on leadership and leaders, so who engages the folks in the community to get involved, who marshals resources to create not only the federation but the other agencies it supports that have been around for so long, all the institutions and services that we enjoy. i think the federation takes the broader perspective and really relies on for example with us the next generation of leaders to come into the fold and carry on the work that's been done before us, and also to make sure we provide for the future given the realities on the ground here and on the ground in israel for example.
both societies have challenges, and we need leaders to address them. i think the federation is doing a great job of addressing that. >> sarah, can you talk about what you think leadership challenges are going to be into the next generation? we often talk about leadership development, about the lessons learned and the way a previous generation took leadership on with the issues it confronted itself in its time, but we all know that leadership isn't stagnant and we always have to depend on what tomorrow brings. i am wondering from your perspective, what are some of the leadership challenges that are on the horizon that we are going to face and need to understand more seriously and meet need for? >> that's a great question and one that i think we ask ourselves on a regular basis within the organized jewish community, which is why there is such emphasis on next gen
engagement. i think at the root of it is less challenge and more opportunity. it speaks to what alex was saying, this idea of being open and creating an open community. our biggest opportunity and where i think the federation is investing a lot of its work in this area of leadership development is in building true authentic communities and not just creating spaces where people show up from perhaps a sense of duty or oboned tbe tha jewish then you were involved in the organized jewish community. given where we are in america today and the rate of assimilation, and the fact that we are free citizens of this country and we can participate however we choose, it's not a given that we opt into the organized jewish community. what our federation has realized is the importance of creating open authentic space for people like myself or my generation to come in and to express ourselves, to express
our values in a way that is personally meaningful to us and to be able to share that then with others as a way of connecting to something larger than ourselves which i think is really at the core of the idea of community and leadership. >> sarah and alex, we will take a quick break and come back to mosaic in just a moment.
peninsula. welcome back. we were talking about leadership development and the ways in which people feel engaged in entering authentic spaces and relationship and ways in which then people feel cared for and known. i am wondering if you can talk in a little bit of a personal way about the affect that your involvement with the jewish community federation has had on you in terms of feeling that you are part of something important and as you were saying, sarah, something that's beyond yourself? why don't we start with you, sarah. >> sure. being a part of the jewish community federation has been a multifaceted experience, and i think that's part of the beauty of the organization. because anyone may find a certain entry point where you start to get involved. for me, it was through women's philanthropy in the young adult division. by my involvement, i got to know different people in the community and also in an
intergenerational way, which is valuable in terms of learning about leadership and engagement models that came before us. but through my involvement in each of the groups i was able to meteor members, representatives of our community, people who serve in wonderful leadership positions who have taken time to mentor me to share their stories and their experiences but also to hear about my story and who i am and what inspires me to be at the table. i think through those conversations, those shared engagement opportunities, those shared experiences, that not only do we learn about the whole of our community. but for me, i also continue to learn more about myself and who i am and how i identify as a jewish american. >> wonderful. alex, we have just a little bit of time. it's a big question. but what about you? >> my own trajectory was such that immigrating here in '87 with my family, we came from a
place where we were limited in our ability to explore and express our judaism. when i came here, i was fortunate that i had a barmitzfa and attended hebrew school but became disconnected from the community because i didn't find an entry point. i was fortunate to go on a trip to israel sponsored by federation. the great thing they did speaking of leadership is they said if you go, you have to come back and be involved. there is a tapestry of things you can do. but you have to get involved. i took them up on that offer and was sort of ushered and courted and taken along to various opportunities to get involved. i met a lot of fascinating people. i now am able to participate in such a rich community with all the resources and services and all the wonderful folks i met where i have a sense of the way i want to live my life as a jew, the kind of community i want to pass onto my children.
>> so wonderful. believe it or not, we need to put a comma in the conversation. we have come to the end of our time together. thank you so much. we want to ask you to please take a risk and leap of faith to get to know somebody, get to know what it is to care and get to know your commune. thank you so much for being with us here on mosaic.
friend is back... diary of a wimpy kid -- the long haul opens in theatres this week.... earlier today i got a welcome to bay sunday. your favorite wimpy friend is back. diary of a wimpy kid the long haul opens in theaters this week. let's take a quick look. >> there is a new hero who dares to be wimpy. >> are you kidding? >> jeff, it is good to see you guys again. how much of these stories are based on your personal experience growing up? >> a lot of the stories from diary of a wimpy kid have some seed of truth in my childhood.
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