Transforming Initiatives

Jews open their Synagogue for Members of Burned Mosque

When the Victoria Islamic Center burned down in the small Texas town of Victoria, the small Jewish community opened their hearts and their Synagogue to the members of the mosque so they would have a place to gather and pray. The cause of the fire is under federal investigation because of a recent burglary and… Read more »

Police put Mezuzah on Station Doorpost

In response to anti-Semitic threats in the town of Whitefish, Montana, Police Chief William Dial placed a Mezuzah on the door of the police station.  He had been giving Orthodox rabbis a tour when Rabbi Adam Scheier gave him a mezuzah, a Jewish traditional small case holding parchment with verses from the Torah, to post… Read more »

Statue in Korea Sparks Diplomatic Row

The power of a symbol can be seen in the simple dignified statue of a young Korean women.  Such a statue was set up in 2011 in Seoul to commemorate the suffering of perhaps as many as 200,000 Korean women who were turned into sex slaves for the Japanese Army during World War II.  The… Read more »

Transforming an Insult

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu walked by a construction site on a temporary sidewalk the width of one person. A white man appeared at the other end, recognized Tutu, and said, “I don’t make way for gorillas.” At which Tutu stepped aside, made a deep sweeping gesture, and said, “Ah, yes, but I do.” —… Read more »

Veterans, Standing Rock, and Forgiveness

Some 2,000 U.S. military veterans traveled to Standing Rock to be part of the resistance to the pipeline.  As part of their solidarity action the veterans “took a knee” in a ceremony asking the tribes for forgiveness for what has been done to indigenous people through the U.S. military.  That forgiveness was offered in the… Read more »