Sing for Joy... and World Peace
When Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl’s life was ended in Pakistan, his parents took his love of people and his love of music and created “Daniel Pearl World Music Day.” This concert was our first stop on our October Peace & Justice Lab which explored how different religions focus on peace and justice within their own traditions. The Weizmann Day School hosted St. Mark’s Episcopal School, New Horizon Muslim School, and the Peace & Justice Academy in a concert called “Harmony for Humanity.” Several of our students joined in the chorus for the singing of “This Land is Your Land,” a social justice song for change, to the delight of the audience including Congresswoman Judy Chu (whose office we were at last month!) and Daniel Pearl’s parents.
After the concert, we grabbed a quick lunch in the park before heading off to the next part of our adventure—Visits to the Islamic Center of Southern California and the Wilshire Blvd. Temple. Salam Al-Marayati, the President of MPAC ( Muslim Public Affairs Council), hosted the students at the Islamic Center and answered their questions about peace, the Koran, and ways his religious tradition promotes that peace.
Rabbis Goldberg and Eschel met the students at the newly renovated Temple and were treated to a description of the mural art in the temple. Rabbi Eschel pointed out the Shema in the ceiling and explained that the most important prayer (“Hear, oh Israel, the LORD our God is One”) is a call to community and a reminder to Israel that G-d is one.
When we returned to campus, the students commented on how much they learned from the other faith traditions.
On a Thursday night in October, many of the students and staff stayed after school to attend a candlelight vigil on immigration reform. The students were asked to stand in solidarity with the undocumented workers who are mistreated. Angelo and Laura participated in the dramatic interpretation of the conditions of the workers, while adults portrayed the congress and corporations who are more concerned with their own interests.
Over half the student body, grades 8-11, traveled to a nearby school to take the PSAT this October. The students were tired, but felt good about challenging themselves to start getting ready for college! We also have our first graduating seniors applying to their favorite colleges. Stay tuned for the acceptances.
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