I find it extremely interesting but not coincidental that the Occupy Wall Street/Philadelphia movement has gained much strength over this past weekend. Aside from the fact that over 1000 New York Jews joined together last night for the opening services of the holiday, people across the country are recognizing that what used to be a country of the people, by the people, and for the people, has slowly changed to prop up the few extremely wealthy while downgrading the hard workers below. While I do not consider myself to be among the richest of the rich, I am definitely comfortable - something millions across the country (and the world) cannot say.
"Where does my responsibility lie?" is the question I asked myself during this Day of Atonement. I work for an impoverished School District in a city that seems to be losing more money every month. Should it be enough that I go to work each day? Or do I, like other teachers, need to spend hundreds of dollars of my own money on my students to buy necessary supplies like paper and pencils? What if my students don't have access to the kind of modern technology the business world demands they are familiar with - do I spend hours trying to find donations/grants/foundations?
This question harkens back to the age-old aphorism that "it takes a village to raise a child." As a firm believer in collaborative efforts in general, especially when it comes to education, I beg all those with or without a stake in schools - please help us. I haven't exactly figured out what more I need to do for this, but that doesn't mean I've given up trying to figure it out.
Let this Yom Kippur be the last that we say an al chet (confession) for the sin of not helping our children. After all, even though they make up 25% of the population, they are 100% of our future.