Dear You, whom I am honored to have on this page:
I am a coach and a story alchemist.
My toolkit is story, words, writing and voice.
And I believe that this is the best way I can help shape the story of the world to be one of justice, equality, equity and cohesion.
This does not mean I am the vision of perfection, of eternal bliss, or permanently living in “high vibes”. And I will never ask nor expect that of my clients.
Because this work demands that there will be no spiritual bypassing, false promises, or promotion of the lies in the pyramid scheme of privilege.
This work is as grounded in the earth as it is in the universe.
I do not hide where I am. I name it.
The rising fascism under the disguise of Nationalism and even Libertarianism in America, the country my grandparents ran to in order to escape anti-Semitic abuse, terror, persecution, oppression, mass murder and genocide, is only getting worse.
And the similar rise in Europe, the continent my ancestors fled from, is no better.
The abuse of all of those at the bottom of the pyramid scheme of white supremacy has always been there, it is is just increasing.
The pillars of white supremacy — racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ablism, classism and so many others — have always been there.
White Supremacy is now exploiting them — and has been given the platform and the green light to do so with vigor under the guise of Free Speech.
Hate speech is not free speech. It is channel for spreading dangerous harm.
It results in the murders of Black bodies. It results in the separation of families and children put in cages. In religion-targeting bans. It results in the normalisation of harassment.
It results in the normalisation of violence.
And it results in slaughter.
11 of my people were murdered in the very space we go to to connect with the sacred force of life.
The Tree of Life.
It was the deadliest formal anti-Semitic act committed on American soil. The place my ancestors fled to in order to escape these acts.
I personally see the mass shooting of and murders of children at Majorie Stone Douglas the worst act of anti-Semitic violence as it was specifically aimed at children, the school was known to have a large Jewish population of students, the shooter was driven by Nazi ideology, he was a vocal anti-Semite, he had swastikas carved into his gun, he deliberately targeted a Holocaust Education class where he committed the most of his murders, many of the children targeted and murdered were Jewish… and above all, this act resulted in the the murders of many other children of various backgrounds.
Anti-Semitic violence has always been a sign that we are further along in White Supremacy than we realise. It has always been a sign that White Supremacy is ready to come for you, too.
My Grandmother and her family lived in PIttsburgh after they arrived in America as a child of 5, and a child who witnessed things no child should ever have to see.
A child who had taken a journey no child should ever have to take.
A laughing, brilliant, determined Jewish girl who would grow to be a laughing, brilliant, determined Jewish woman who forever carries the effects of trauma as she lived her life on her own terms.
A woman who could see through to people’s hearts as well as she could see through their bullshit.
A woman who created a life that was a direct rebellion to those who did not believe she was worthy of that life.
A woman who would speak up and out at the top of her voice when they were trying to silence her.
A woman who lived in the world of laughter, connection to others, and empowerment just as she lived with the reality of anxiety, panic, and trauma that had been enforced on her — and her relatives and ancestors before her.
A Jewish girl in Pittsburgh, she no doubt entered that Tree of Life Synagogue — which has existed for over 150 years — many times.
This synagogue holds the footsteps and stories of many of my people.
And now, 11 of them are gone. Forever. They will never add their story to the world again.
So I will be very direct and honest with you, my guests on this page.
I am grieving, I am mourning, I am in shock, I am in pain.
Which means I am am being asked to name it.
This was an act of terror.
Which means I am terrified.
The pure terror of what has happened means I am struggling. Even daily, administrative tasks and motions are hard.
This is exactly what terror does. It is horrible to feel this and it is normal to feel it.
One of the things I have realised is that I am exactly where terrorism puts us: on the edge.
Which means I have accepted that this is where I live for now.
Right here, between pain and liberation.
Between threat and safety.
Between helplessness and empowerment.
I am surrendering to this place with the belief that I am here because I have the CAPACITY and ABILITY to withstand this while honoring a Jewish commandment to work to heal the wounds of the world: Tikkun Olam.
To find that capacity is to reach in to what gives us the power to do so. What empowers us.
Along with everything else I am feeling, I am passionately, beautifully, powerfully angry.
And that anger gives me the drive to speak out, to reach out, and to do something meaningful and active with this pain, grief, fear, terror and anger within me.
To do the work I have always been called to do with the tools and gifts I have been given.
To write, tell and speak. And to help others do the same.
They will never be locked.
I. Am. Here.