In the midst of the continuously unfolding situation in Israel/Palestine, we come with sad news in this already devastating time.
Hayim Katsman was confirmed as one of the people killed in Israel near the border with Gaza on Saturday. From 2017-2019, Hayim was in Seattle working toward a PhD in the UW Center for Jewish Studies and Jackson School. He worked with many Kadima members in those departments, and also taught Hebrew to many of Kadima’s current teenagers during those years. He made the upstairs “cry room” at Madrona Grace a place of learning and inquiry, and many share fond memories of working with him those years on Tuesday nights and as a member of the Kadima School faculty.
Hayim had never taught young people prior to Kadima School, and he embraced our students with humor, rigor, creativity, and patience. He was musical and sat in with Nigun L’Tzedek on his guitar. He made friendships and second families with many of us at Kadima. It was a pleasure to have him as a member and educator in Kadima and the news of his tragic death adds heartbreak to heartbreak.
We are in touch with members of the UW Center for Jewish Studies about how we might create space to mourn and remember Hayim together, and as that takes shape, we will let you know.
Meanwhile, Hayim is one of hundreds dead and thousands injured or missing. And the situation in the region seems likely to only get worse in the coming days.
In this time of added worry, fear, pain, anger, and grief, we will be holding space for community to gather, sing, connect, reflect, share, and grieve this Tuesday, October 10, from 7-8:30pm at the Rainier Valley Leadership Academy in a hybrid event. We come together at this time to honor the human lives lost, connect among the ongoing violence, and ache about the conditions that have led to these tragic events. Let us move through this together toward something else, something created from the power of connection.
The Kadima liturgy offers us some grounding in these times:
Our rabbis taught: God is urgent about justice, for upon justice the world depends. Our rabbis taught: The sword comes into the world because of justice denied and justice delayed.
We were liberated from the hands of slavery in Mitzrayim.
Our suffering was mirrored in the suffering of the oppressor.
The Red Sea split: the pursuing army was drowned
Our people passed through in safety, rejoicing in their liberation.
(Kadima Shabbat morning siddur, p.17)
As we move through the days ahead, let us indeed be liberated from the hands of war, revenge, and violence. May we remember that suffering is reflected. May it be so that the unthinkable is possible and the unexpected positive turn could be imminent. And may we rejoice when liberation comes at no one else’s expense.
R’ David Basior, Co-Director
Morgan Scherer, Co-Director
Rainer Waldman Adkins, co-president
Chelsea Alvarez, Co-President
Song & Readings Sheet for gathering evening of 10/10