>So many of my posts are focused on the people who disgust and disappoint me by working to reduce understanding between people and to eliminate freedom while claiming they are protecting the community. Today's post is different. Rabbi Caspers Funnye and Judith Krug are two people who work(ed) to create a better society.
During the festivities surrounding Pres. Obama's inauguration, I read a story that mentioned that his family contingent was undoubtedly the most diverse of any president's. It included Southest Asians, African-Americans, Canadians, and a rabbi. "A rabbi?" I thought. "Why hadn't I heard about this person before, especially when people were spreading all those hideous rumors that Obama was anti-Semetic?"
Well, a few weeks ago, the New York Times Magazine ran a story about the rabbi. Turns out that Rabbi Caspers Funnye is Michelle's cousin, and that he is on a mission to bridge the gulf between the black and white Jewish communities. Amazing person, although of course I am not down with the traditional gender segregation they practice in his congregation. Still, I would love to get involved in creating a more diverse understanding of Judaism, although I have no idea how to do so.
In today's Times, there's a small piece commemorating the work of Judith Krug, who passed away on Sat. Ms. Krug headed the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, battling censorship and fear. During the Bush administration, my mother-in-law, who is a children's librarian, proudly noted that librarians were at the forefront of protecting First Amendment rights. They were supposed to report on anyone who checked out suspicious books or looked at "bad" web sites, but many librarians refused to do so. Engaging in this battle for over 40 years, Judith Krug set a great example of leadership for not only librarians, but for all of us who truly care about creating democracy.