Leaving Behind Stereotypes and Coming Together on Rosh Hashanah

Standard

Tashlich (young children) at school

Rosh Hashanah has a tradition called Tashlicht. Like the children above, we throw small pieces of bread into a stream to unload all the things we want to leave behind from past year. The bread disappears in the flowing current. At Not In Our School we do something similar to release negative stereotypes. Source: USCJ
By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director
When you think of a Jew, what image comes into your mind? These ten photos might surprise you.
These Jewish people break every stereotype.
Take my daughter, Melania. As a four year-old, Melania had traveled with her Nicaraguan passport and wondered if she also had a Jewish passport. That is because as a Jewish mother with a husband from Nicaragua, I made it a point to be sure our three children had a strong positive sense of their identity from both my rich Jewish tradition and their father’s beautiful Latino culture. I wanted them to feel a sense of “identity safety,” that their identity and background had value and was an asset in their lives and to the world.
Our family had a mix of colors from light to dark. The Bar Mitzvah luncheons had delicious “gallo pinto,“ Nicaraguan rice and beans and fried plantains, together with lox and bagels. The wonderful set of photos above shows Jewish people of all races and ethnicities is a beautiful reminder of the importance of moving beyond the stereotypes.
Tonight we celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah has a tradition called Tashlicht. That is when we throw small pieces of bread into a stream to unload all the things we want to leave behind from past year. The bread disappears in the flowing current.
At Not In Our School we do something similar to release negative stereotypes. In this activity, people write negative stereotypes with watercolor markers on small pieces of rice paper. Then they release them into a small pool of water and watch them dissolve in swirling colors.
Both activities are deeply symbolic and meaningful. Here is a link to a short film and lesson plan on dissolving stereotypes.
Wishing everyone, everywhere a year to leave behind negative stereotypes and to come together for a peaceful and happy Rosh Hashanah for the Jewish New Year, 5774.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s