Home > other > Twenty-four hours with 5,000 Jews

Twenty-four hours with 5,000 Jews

Dinner with Sonja, my father, and his wife.

Dinner with Sonja, my father, and his wife.

It was a really quick trip, with just barely 24 hours in the Orlando hotel that housed the 5,000 Jews at the URJ Biennial. But it was worth it.

I managed to squeeze in time with good friends and colleagues, dinner with my father, a book signing, a panel presentation, and a pre-announcement announcement. (Look for more on that here soon.)

The Jewish Book Council had brought me down, as part of their partnership with the URJ, for a panel discussion along with Aviya Kushner and Michal Lemberger on “Rereading the Bible: Text, Subtext, and Filling in the Gaps in Between.”

Signing Books for the JBC at the URJ Biennial

Signing Books for the JBC at the URJ Biennial

Joe Biden was scheduled for Saturday evening, by which time I was already en route back to New York. At first I didn’t care that I was missing his address and the inconvenient security that it necessitated. But apparently it was quite an event, with the vice president praising the Jewish commitment to social justice and thanking the Jews for never remaining silent.

We got the idea, of course, from the prophets of the first millennium BCE, whose vision for a better world lives on a hundred generations later.

Fittingly, the taxi driver to the airport had foreshadowed the acknowledgment of that achievement. A woman from Haiti, she heard us talking about this and that, and in response told us how much she admired the Jews and the way they kept their heritage alive.

What a thing to be a part of.

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