WRJ Leaders

Consultation on Conscience: WRJ President’s Report

It’s WRJ’s Centennial year and some days I wake up and I’m not sure what city I am in! Today though, I am very clearly in Washington, D.C. attending the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC)’s flagship conference, Consultation on Conscience. We began last night with an exciting keynote speaker in our historic and impressive Washington Hebrew Congregation. The speaker, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs had a wonderful, open conversation. It was interesting and so informative.

Today, the Consultation on Conscience continues with each speaker bringing us information, different perspective on different issues, and a sense of the very complicated country in which American Jews live today. We began the day with joyful worship services and then a fascinating speaker, Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute. I can’t remember a more interesting or entertaining presentation of research facts and charts.

I had the extreme honor of introducing our second speaker of the day, Naomi Natale. Naomi is an installation artist, photographer, and “social practice” artist. She is the founder and director of her newest project, One Million Bones, which is attempting to build one million bone sculptures to raise awareness of genocide and mass atrocities, and to raise funds for genocide prevention work. Natale has recieved a number of awards including a TED Senior Fellowship.

During her presentation, Naomi reminded us that “never again” should truly mean never again. At the conclusion, she shared a letter from an 11-year-old child who participated in a bone-making project and educational experience regarding genocide in Sudan. This child wrote that when we are all dead and gone, our bones will remain and only God will be able to recognize us from our bones.

Visit the website to learn more about this project and to educate yourselves and your community about how to make a positive difference. I am so proud to be part of the WRJ delegation here at the Consultation and of what we do as an organization to make positive changes every day.

Lynn Magid Lazar is Women of Reform Judaism’s President. She is a member of Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh, PA.

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