“You may have noticed on the bulletin boards that there was a L’Chaim meeting, a Jewish approach to a twelve step program. We had a meeting yesterday afternoon and I realized as I sat in that meeting, where those of us who are in twelve step programs - which are all those things that say anonymous at the end - that here in the place that all of us should feel the most autonomous, that even here in this place, we are different, we are other, we are separated from the community. And to go into a room and to tell the truth in a Jewish framework, to say who we are, and that we’re still good Jews, really…it…I started crying then and I didn’t stop all night. Because I thought that we come here to change the world, to bring peace to the Middle East, to solve the problems of Nicaragua, to bring social justice and economic stability, but I think first we have to look inside. We have to look at who we are in the face of what’s going on in the world, and what went on in our own lives, and speak the truth at least to ourselves so that we can heal ourselves before we go out to heal the world.”
From “Changing Jewish Families,” keynote address by Marcia Cohn Spiegel at the New Jewish Agenda conference, UCLA, August 11, 1987.
Credit: Courtesy of Marcia Cohn Spiegel.