Each night of Hanukkah you will receive a blessing from a fellow alum straight to your inbox. These 8 blessings will serve as reminders of the kind of analysis you did during your Corps year, and the types of reflections you have continued to do on your journeys as Jewish agents for social change. Happy Hanukkah!


We Are in the River Together

On this last night of Hanukkah, as we celebrate the miracle of light, I want to share with you a few words that have been some of the most bright and uplifting of the year for me-  This is a message shared by the Elders of the Hopi Nation of Oriabi, Arizona:

You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. Let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep your eyes open, and your heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate!
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.

This passage is my Hanukkah blessing to you.  As we grow this incredible AVODAH network, may we reflect on our relationships in the world and may that reflection lead us to take action together in a way that increases our joy and wholeness.  We are in the river together!  May we recognize this and make space for each other, thinking both of the ways that we may include or exclude each other within the Jewish community, and of the impact that the Jewish community has on all people in the world.  May we celebrate our connections and accept criticisms flexibly and joyfully, as a way to strengthen our current.  May this current transform our world and ourselves, creating a more just system for all.  I look forward to organizing joyfully with you in the coming year in order make the impact of the Jewish community as just and brilliant as the lights of the menorah tonight.  Happy Hanukkah to all!

Wendy Mironov (CHI 08-09) was the kind of kid always covered in mud or paint. This led her to get a BFA in printmaking at UW-Madison, but now most of her creative energy goes into cooking, growing tomatoes, teaching herself bike repair, yoga, activism, her job, and exploring the great city of Chicago. Currently she works as a health educator at her AVODAH Placement, Chicago Women´s Health Center, a sliding scale clinic providing gynecology, counseling, acupuncture, and comprehensive sex education services. She is incredibly thankful to AVODAH for the fantastic job and incredibly wonderful people she's met along the way! Her experience with AVODAH inspired her to live for two years in Moishe House Chicago and to lead service learning trips for PGA-JFSJ, which she will be doing for a third year in 2012.  Previous organizations she has been involved with include the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline, DESGUA Chicago, Cafe con Conciencia, the Immigrant Youth Justice League, the Madison Worker's Rights Center and the Madison Literacy Council.  Wendy is passionate about traveling and has travelled extensively through the Middle East, North Africa, random countries in Europe, cross country by bicycle in the United States, and, most recently, through Central America.  As she's all settled down now, if you are ever travelling through Chicago, you're more than invited to stay on her couch. Email Wendy.  

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