Esther Saks’ remarks at this year’s Rabbi Robert J. Marx Social Justice Awards Dinner, Nov. 18, 2010 at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, Chicago, Ill.
When I was thinking about what the remarks should be that I would make tonight, I remembered an incident that happened to me and Alan quite a number of years ago.
We were on one of our trips, one of our annual trips to England, business trips that we took at that time, and we were invited to spend a weekend with some new business associates in their house in the country in London.
And while we were having some “get acquainted” conversations, our host said to me, “Um, we hear that you’re a do-gooder.” And I said, “Hmmm.” And I suspected that he meant that I was one of those village ladies that are so disdained in British novels that know everybody else’s business and run flea market sales.
And then I remember saying, “Well, you know, if you mean that I want to know, that I need to know, about the issues that are shaping my community and my society—that affect me and my family, and that I can affect, then I guess I’m a do-gooder—and Alan is too.”
One wonders how that need—really that impulse, to be involved starts. For us I think it started in the generations before us.