Revolution: The NSP Newsletter, October 2016
30th Anniversary Celebration and Conference
Did you know Tikkun is celebrating its 30th year? Amazing, right? We hope you will consider joining us at the event; Saturday, November 12th will be a full day event (with morning spiritual practices available for those who are interested) where we will explore “What’s Next?” after the presidential election. This is a critical time for progressives in this country and we need to get organized. On Sunday, November 13th we will give out the Tikkun Award to amazing people (like director Oliver Stone, singer and songwriter Holly Near and Clayborne Carson and many others) who have significantly contributed to transforming our world. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.
Cat’s (brief) reflections on Tikkun at 30
30 years ago, 1986: Ronald Reagan and (what was then) his ultra-conservative policies had received a mandate after his re-election in 1984. Many Jewish organizations were moving to the Right and becoming “Reagan Democrats.” The voices of Jewish liberals and progressives were largely absent from the public sphere and blind support for Israel silenced the few dissenters in both the Jewish world and American politics.
Tikkun magazine was launched by Michael Lerner and Nan Fink Gefen in May 1986 to provide a voice for liberals and progressives in the Jewish world and to counter the neo-conservative ideology that predominated in American society.
Now, 30 years later in 2016, and so much and so little has changed. We have racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic forces that came close to winning majority support until their candidate was revealed to be a sexual harasser and abuser. His proposed policies of building a wall and preventing Muslims from entering the country were not enough to split his party. Many of us will be celebrating the momentary defeat of these forces and yet we also know that progressives have a lot of work to do to ensure that a Hillary Clinton administration address our concerns and the needs of the 99%. Like Obama and Bill Clinton, she will be under immense pressure to accommodate to the economic and political elites that managed to dramatically weaken the liberal aspirations that those candidates articulated in their election cycles but failed to implement in their administrations.
Yet then, as now, Tikkun offers hope and provides a vision for what is needed to transform our world. During the past 30 years, Tikkun has demonstrated its integrity by integrating a spiritual approach to political engagement with intellectual rigor and visionary, transformative approaches to solving the world’s greatest problems. Tikkun has consistently challenged and criticized the Israeli Occupation. In fact, Tikkun was one of the first magazines to publish articles by Israelis who reported some of the horrifying facts that surrounded the establishment of the State of Israel. Unafraid to speak truth to power, Tikkun encourages lively debates within its pages, offering a space for true open discussion on issues of importance in the world. In his national bestseller, The Left Hand of God: Take Back Our Country from the Religious Right (and in his earlier book, Spirit Matters), Rabbi Michael Lerner coined the terms “Emancipatory Spirituality” and “Spiritual Activism”, pointing out the spiritual crisis in America and the need for our society as a whole to address people’s needs for meaning and purpose in their lives — and not just economic security. Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives were founded on this vision. In this 30th year we are unveiling a new website for the NSP that we hope will inspire engagement. And at our conference in November we are deepening our movement that integrates spirituality and activism to create a path to a world of love and justice based on a New Bottom Line.
None of this was or is possible without YOU! Your engagement, your contributions, your memberships, your energy, and your time. We thank you for all of your support all these years and we hope we can count on you for another 30.
What will the world look like in 2046? That, my friends, is up to us! Let’s start building the future we so desperately long for now – a world based on love and justice for all.
Cat J. Zavis, Executive Director of the NSP
New NSP Training
As some of you are aware, last year Rabbi Lerner and Cat Zavis held a 10-week training called the Passionate Citizen Intensive. Many people were interested in participating in this training but could not participate for one reason or another. Cat has modified this training so that you can do it with a small group of people (4 or more) in your own home (or other location of your choosing), at your own pace.
This training is 4 sessions long and each week has required readings, exercises to do both during the sessions and after, videos to watch, recordings to listen to, etc. It is a comprehensive training that will help you deepen your understanding of and engagement with our work. If you are interested in learning more about this training and gathering with a group of people to steep yourself in our principles, ideas, and proposals, please contact cat at email@example.com.
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