Tikun Olam: Sparking Change by Listening to Our Youth

Many holidays are converging as we end the month of November. We will have just gotten up from our Thanksgiving tables, perhaps flush with the comfort of family and food; perhaps confronting the holiday’s fraught history, in which racism played so large a part. Our November 28th service also occurs the morning before the first night of Hannukah, when we not only light candles, but also think about the Jewish principle of Tikun Olam—healing the world by seeking out and releasing the sparks of goodness within us all. Through the Hannukah story, we learn how a small band of brothers stood up for their community. Another fight for community is happening right now in Vermont through the Listen Up Project, an original musical inspired, created and performed by Vermont teens. A strong theme in the play is racism. We will watch clips from the film of this groundbreaking performance and engage in an expanded Fellowship response about how we might heal our little part of the world by listening to our youth about racism.

Beth Esmond is a Fellowship member offering a lay-led discussion. She participated in the Listen Up Project in a variety of roles.