On Wednesday I heard John Ruskay, the executive vice president of the UJA speak at a seminar of 50 college interns who are part of CLIP-Collegiate Leadership Internship Program.
He raised many current issues in the Jewish community. But one stood out to me.
He spoke about brainstorming for what the Jewish community should do when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, returns in September for the U.N. General Assembly.
Should we have a rally?
Ruskay went around the room calling on different people, some suggested an interfaith, multiethnic rally with powerful speakers, but Ruskay replied that this has been done, and is not really effective, as only a small group of people come.
At NYU on Yom Hashoah, I was part of a group of about 50 students who walked around the village in silence wearing all black. Each student had a white placard strung on them that read “Never Forget”, if someone asked “never forget what?” We would hand them an index card with an explanation. We walked single file around Washington Square Park, through dining halls and the Library. People were mesmerized by the silent march.
Yesterday, I suggested to John Ruskay that we should have silent marches all around the city on the day that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to the U.N. The marchers could wear placards that stated different human rights infringements that Ahmadinejad has caused ranging from women to homosexuals as well as signs about the dangerous dictator and his hateful message against Israel.
Perhaps people are sick and tired of yelling at the top of their lungs, with flailing signs when no one seems to listen.
A different type of silence could be the answer.