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Bringing Everything Full Circle: Celebrating Jewish Roots

BKF Fellow Ariel Luckey, playwright, performer, and activist—who recently completed his fellowship with BKF Mentor, Brenda Way, Founder and Artistic Director, ODC—has been selected as Temple Administrator/Director of Operations at Congregation B’nai Tikvah in Walnut Creek. We congratulate Ariel on this opportunity to further develop himself as a leader.

In a past blog post, we have celebrated Ariel’s artistic accomplishments, including his recently released hip-hop Klezmer album, called rememory, which he described as, “looking back and moving forward, remembering who we are and where we come from, celebrating our resilience.”

This time, we’re highlighting Ariel’s work as an activist. The Jewish News of Northern California noted Ariel’s contributions in a recent article on the Tu B’Shevat holiday, which is celebrated annually January 30-31 as the “new year for the trees” and in modern times has been centered around the concept of ecological awareness. Ariel sees this holiday as a means to “bring it all full circle,” connecting his Jewish ancestry with his role as a key advisor to Sogorea Te Land Trust, an indigenous women-led community organization, founded by Corrina Gould and Johnella LaRose, that facilitates the return of Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone lands in the San Francisco Bay Area to indigenous stewardship:

“As we celebrate Jewish connection to the land, he suggested, we can help the Ohlone regain theirs by participating in the Shuumi Land Tax, a voluntary system of reparations instituted by the Sogorea Te Land Trust. According to the website, the “tax” revenue will help “acquire and preserve land, establish a cemetery to reinter stolen Ohlone ancestral remains and build a community center and round house so current and future generations of Indigenous people can thrive in the Bay Area.”

Drawing connections between his Jewish ancestors, contemporary social justice issues, and his love for the arts, Ariel continues to expand the concept of community and inspire others while doing so. We applaud Ariel for his creativity and encourage our community to engage with his work. Please see his website to learn more: