October’s DF Gathering featured Jodi Bernstein of Interfaith Ministries Greater Houston and Rabbi Dan Gordon from Temple Beth Torah in Humble who led a discussion on how to productively dialogue with people who hold different views. Jodi spent 33 years with the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights and human relations organization dedicated to stopping the defamation of the Jewish people. Both told insightful stories of the impact that proper, patient dialogue can have on changing people’s views and even lives. Jodi told stories about Frank Meeink and Megan Phelps-Roper – please click the links below to learn their amazing stories.
Frank Meeink Megan Phelps-Roper
Rabbi Gordon relayed a personal story of a trip he made to Jerusalem with 26 clergy – ½ Christian and ½ Jewish – to demonstrate his point that, “You don’t have to be wrong for me to be right.” What a wonderful perspective to hold when you are making your points on a controversial topic.
Jodi presented the following tips to help keep difficult dialogue productive while maintaining a connection with the other person/people. The tips seem intuitive, but those in attendance found that employing them is easier said than done and requires practice! So we practiced using the tips with each other while discussing one of two relevant topics: 1) Taking a knee during the national anthem or 2) Gun control. Practice using these tips with your family and friends!
- Decide on some ground rules
- Listen actively
- Communicate to be understood
- Reject all name calling, belittling, stereotyping and bias, i.e. be respectful/demand the same
- Pay attention to your feelings and your triggers
- Consider the relationship
- Agree to disagree.
Special thanks to those who helped make this a great Gathering: Lauri Ruiz who organized the speakers, this meeting’s Hospitality Team – the greeters, set-up/clean-up crew, all those who brought the snacks – and Sr. Adrian who led the opening prayer and closing song! We will see you on November 6th for our next Gathering featuring presentations by the San Francisco Nativity School and Angela House.