This is the time of year when we review our history, our Jewish story. It is also the time when we write our modern story. With our families at our table, we say let all who are hungry join us. We open our doors with hope for a future of peace, a time when we will be truly safe. The story of Passover is a story of power, the power of torment and abuse, and the power of faith, action, and community. This Passover, we have an opportunity to think of painful modern stories . . . the children in our schools and communities who are suffering from bullying. As we share drashot on the meaning of the Haggadah, let us hope that we are inspired to action, to create schools and shuls, and youth groups, where every child feels safe and valued.
During the family time of this holiday, parents might consider talking with their children about bullying, going to the film with their children, returning to schools ready to begin on-going dialogue about the bullying issue.
Here is my response to the Bully movie. My hope is that this will lead to continued dialogue and action. This is such a crucial issue, and only by extending beyond the theater will such a movie be a true success:
I let the tears dry and reflected a bit before writing this. From the opening moments of the Bully movie, my heart was breaking. The stories woven through the film make very real the unbearable pain bullying leaves in its wake. The NYC theater was filled, but it is not enough. Everyone, every child, parent, educator, human being needs to become aware of the epidemic raging through our country and claiming our children. For building this awareness, and telling victims’ stories with such care, the Bully movie deserves acclaim and thanks. It may be impossible, however, for any film to fully capture the complexity of bullying, its causes, effects and what can be done to address it.
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