Their love was evident to everyone who was there on that beautiful day in October when Yechochanan and Aminah Perkins stood under the chuppah. Three years later, the couple still glow in each other’s presence. “There is so much I love about Aminah,” says Yechochanan, “She is nurturing, patient and beautiful. She is great with children. She knows how to get the house ready for Shabbat.” Aminah loves that “he takes time to explain and understand. He is patient, loving and caring. He will make a great father.”
The “Derby Bunch”, or “Six Pack” as my parents like to call them, are a motley crew of grandkids – three of each gender – born within a six-year span to my two siblings and myself. We are spread geographically along the Eastern seaboard, from New York down to Atlanta. And though all Jewish, we are spread across the ethnic and denominational map as well.
The question was simple: “What would the world look like if there was no more racism?”
Many see Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day off, but for my family, it’s a second birthday. The reason why my family always cherished this day is because in its essence, MLK Jr. Day captures my very existence, and is a reminder for my family that justice, no matter how long the road, will always prevail.
“I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.”
As Jews, we know about the power of narrative. The slavery narrative presented in the Book of Exodus and retold around the Passover table is probably the most powerful because it is the foundation of so many Jewish values: faith, compassion and justice, just to name a few.
For many of us going to a new synagogue or Jewish environment is tough. We spend time beforehand wondering if we will know anyone, will we feel comfortable, or something as simple as will anyone say hello to me.
My wife and I are a multiracial couple. She’s Black. I’m White. Our 4-year-old son is biracial.
This year, Hanukkah has special meaning for the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda. Hanukkah is not a major holiday like Shabbat or Passover because it is not written about in the Torah. But its story is important to us. It is a story of the few against the many. It is a story that is ancient but also new.
As a convert, I have always felt a special responsibility to actively choose Judaism. Each new choice I make reminds me to live a Jewish life with kavanah, with loving intent. I have to make being Jewish happen.