On Sunday May 1, 2022, JCRC Executive Director Paul Rockower was honored with an invitation to address the Hopi Tribe’s Gathering of the Clans event at Steele Indian School Park.  The event included dignitaries from other tribes, including the Apache, Navajo and Zuni tribes.  Rockower delivered the following remarks:

Shalom (hello, goodbye and peace etymology),

On behalf of the Jewish community of Arizona, I bring greetings to the Hopi Tribe for its gathering of the clans on behalf of an equally ancient tribe.

My friend Vernon Masayesva [of Black Mesa Trust] asked me to give brief remarks on the importance of preserving our sacred traditions, heritage, culture and language.

This is how both our people have endured and how we will continue–through this preservation of our sacred traditions.

Like you, this is something we know well.

In Judaism, we say: L’dor viDor. From generation to generation.

Like you, from generation to generation we fight to preserve our sacred traditions, heritage, culture and language. From generation to generation, we pass down that holy fire of wisdom.

So I honor this sacred gathering and its importance.

I also know that the purpose of this gathering is also about fighting to protect your sacred land and sacred water.

We honor that struggle.

In Judaism our Sages teach us: you do not have to complete the task, but you are not free to abandon it either.

From generation to generation that struggle continues. We pray for your success.