Friday, July 11, 2008


I was asked to share some pieces that I wrote today....

To Gisela~

My students must know you. They must hear you. They must feel with you. Their reality is far removed from Jewish heritage. They know no Jewish people. They are unfamiliar with Judaism. There is no prior or existing prejudice toward Jews.

These are the reasons that it is crucial for them to have an intimate understanding. They carry with them two things - 1) their own prejudices, and 2) their susceptibility for believing prejudices and stereotypes. It is my responsibility to educate their minds to ensure that one day, upon entering a new environment, they will become the educators. They will know the truths of what it means to be Jewish. The myths that the ignorant are selling will not be accepted as truth. It is
not a free pass to exclude Jewish teaching simply because my students are unfamiliar with a Jew.

They must know you. They must understand that being Jewish is alive and that your story is part of their story as a member of the human race.


To be educated.
What does this mean?
What implications does it bring?

To be educated.
What sort of freedom does it allow?
What type of understanding does one truly need?

It is not enough to teach information.
because in order to learn,
we must first understand.

Education cannot be void of emotion.
Personal connections on a scaffolding
of why's and how's.
Questions are seeking,
understanding is finding
and seeking again.

To be educated.
What does it mean?

To be educated.
How does it change who we thought we were
or how we will be?

~ ~ ~
Thank you all for your words of encouragement and wisdom this week. Tonight as I spoke to my husband, I looked through the computer, across worlds, and cried. There are no words to describe this moment in time. I cried because of people I had not met five days ago, but now love. I cried because I was brought here for a reason - a purpose. My husband cried. Despite the slightly blurred image and his inability to grasp everything I was trying to say, he somehow understood the power on which I now stand. He felt my heart, he knew that the wife he left at the Omaha airport would come home a different woman. He did not grieve for the lost wife, he celebrated the new woman. He is proud of me, and that is enough for anyone.

Our passion is powerful - let's make it contagious.



Larry Neuburger said...

Fantastic pic, Danielle. I have had so much fun hanging with you. Your poem makes me think. I don't think being educated changes who I am, but it certainly helps guide how I will be. Thanks for being here and posting. I love what you do here. By the way, I was walking down Broadway a few minutes ago and saw that same bag you bought tonight for $2.50. :) Are you turning up the volume so I can hear?

Danielle said...

Thanks for the info Larry - sheesh. What's that? You want to go shopping? (I'm sure Thomas does).

I don't think the volume could get high enough for you to hear!

Ilka said...

You have a real talent for expressing your thoughts, Danielle. It's beautiful and inspiring.
Thank you!