Stephen Hazan Arnoff's Blog on Music, Art, Religion, Myth and Reality
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Sounding Board: I Have a New Gig IV
There are things and then there are things. One of those things happens to be a new job. It's not that new -- about five months. As CEO and President of JCC Association -- the umbrella organization of the 350 sites that comprise the Jewish Community Center Movement -- every two weeks I have been posting a short piece on a song that inspires thinking about where this band of communities and opportunities might go. Find the originals at Sounding Board or, over the next few weeks, right here. The third is entitled: What's Going On?
What’s Going On?
APRIL 28, 2015 |
Where is music when the world is spinning too fast, when the sky is crying, when we have lost our way?
Tests of communal will arose this week – all too fast and strong, and almost too big to fathom. Our eyes filled with the sight of friends in Baltimore embroiled in anger and unrest while those in Nepal tumbled as the ground shook and shivered beneath their feet.
Protest music is an expression of communal need to seek clarity and purpose. A protest song stepstoward our tests and goes out to greet them, a testament to how we step up to a challenge.
One of our colleagues shared with Sounding Board soul-warrior Marvin Gaye’s plea, now more than 40 years strong, as a reflection on what she believes JCC communities need to be asking of themselves, especially now:
Mother, mother There’s too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother There’s far too many of you dying You know we’ve got to find a way To bring some lovin’ here today
Father, father We don’t need to escalate You see, war is not the answer For only love can conquer hate You know we’ve got to find a way To bring some lovin’ here today
Picket lines and picket signs Don’t punish me with brutality Talk to me, so you can see What’s going on
Another colleague turned to Bob Marley, a fierce and noble man. Maybe you believe in a master plan and maybe you do not – but what do you hold onto when you cannot believe what you see in a world is turned upside down?:
There’s a natural mystic Blowing through the air If you listen carefully now you will hear This could be the first trumpet Might as well be the last Many more will have to suffer Many more will have to die Don’t ask me why Things are not the way they used to be I won’t tell no lie One and all got to face reality now
Though I try to find the answer To all the questions they ask Though I know it’s impossible To go living through the past Don’t tell no lie There’s a natural mystic Blowing through the air Can’t keep them down If you listen carefully now you will hear Such a natural mystic Blowing through the air
We are not pro test. Would that we could just enjoy the quiet on a sunny day. But when tests come, as they always do, what choices remain but to face them? So we step towards these challenges together, never alone.
As you will see below, in Baltimore our colleagues seek to be of use to neighbors and friends, staying safe and joining hands and praying for peaceful and sustainable resolutions. In Nepal, friends stack hands to offer respite however and wherever they can.
And then there’s this from yet another colleague sending a song to Sounding Board – a message from those same boys who said all we need is love: Come together, right now.
How you and your JCC can help: Our friends and colleagues at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore and the Associated are working with area churches, community centers and civic organizations to collect funds for immediate service to the neighborhoods affected most deeply by the unrest. If you are able to donate your time, contact the Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC), which is coordinating community involvement in the cleanup effort in partnership with the No Boundaries Coalition.
We have compiled a list of some of the ways that you can help Nepal by supporting organizations in our family of Jewish and Israeli organizations.