By Manda Graizel, the Machon Kaplan Program Coordinator.
Everything is foreseen, yet freedom of choice is given. The world is judged by grace, yet all is according to the amount of action. —Pirke Avot 3:19
We are a people of action. We are a people who believe that the world needs fixing, and that it is our task to do it. When one says, “The world is judged by grace, yet all is according to the amount of action,” we acknowledge that it is not only the action that matters, but also how the act is done—if it is loud and public, or behind the scenes. We as a people recognize that subtle actions can have a great and positive impact on our world.
Social justice, the grace and the actions are values that permeate through our movement. This summer, 20 young adults have heard the call to action and grace and responded by participating in the Machon Kaplan Internship Program. These 20 young adults will spend their summers interning at a variety of the RAC’s partner organizations, covering issues from Israel, to reproductive rights, genocide prevention and a variety of others. The students will enhance their understandings not only of their issues specifically, but also of a broader call to action in the classroom, where their internship experiences will be framed in a Jewish context. Additionally, the participants will be living together as a Jewish community on The George Washington University campus. Throughout their time, each of the participants will have the opportunity to write a blog post sharing his or her experiences in Washington, D.C. As the Machon Kaplan Coordinator, I have the pleasure of helping to guide the students throughout their journey this summer. If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to email me,and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Manda Graizel, a second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, is the 2012 Machon Kaplan Program Coordinator.