In 1972, Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath sent me to Florida to organize Jewish students protesting the Vietnam War at the 1972 Republican Convention in Miami.
In 1990, my wife, my father and I travelled through China just a few months before Tiananmen Square.
In both situations, the moral passion and democratic hopes and aspirations of the young people we encountered were palpable. Infused with the belief that by using non-violent methods they could transform their lives, their nation, their world for the better, they set about with courage and confidence to change their future.
That was exactly the feeling I had as I spent two lengthy visits with the protestors in Gezi Park in the Taksim area of Istanbul over the past few days. There is something special happening in Gezi Park – and it is inspiring.