No Moses at AIPAC this morning, but Joshua! “Together, we can join our voices together, and in doing so make even the mightiest of walls fall down.”
And a life narrative that aligns his story with the great Jewish story — and the great American story — the search for the Promised Land.
I first became familiar with the story of Israel when I was eleven years old. I learned of the long journey and steady determination of the Jewish people to preserve their identity through faith, family and culture. Year after year, century after century, Jews carried on their traditions, and their dream of a homeland, in the face of impossible odds.
The story made a powerful impression on me. I had grown up without a sense of roots. My father was black, he was from Kenya, and he left us when I was two. My mother was white, she was from Kansas, and I’d moved with her to Indonesia and then back to Hawaii. In many ways, I didn’t know where I came from. So I was drawn to the belief that you could sustain a spiritual, emotional and cultural identity. And I deeply understood the Zionist idea – that there is always a homeland at the center of our story.