November 1, 2010

Memorial Tribute to Alan Senitt (delivered July 17, 2006)

Before I begin, I want to express my appreciation, to Shelley Rood of Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s office and to the Forward Together team, for arranging this evening’s sad commemoration. I also apologize that I have nothing original to say. But some thoughts bear repeating.

There is no consolation. There is no compensation. Not in this realm.

Until a week ago, I was part of a fortunate group of people Alan had contacted to get together with in Washington. Aside from the pure joy of spending time with Alan, he was a thinker and a doer. The Union of Jewish Students, Board of Deputies, Coexistence Trust, International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians – politics. And always for a purpose.

Alan was not just a “young leader” or a potential leader. He was a leader. Alan was not a participant or a bystander. He made things happen. He didn’t show up. He showed how.

Alan took on one of the greatest challenges of a leader: creating something new and impactful. More than once. Every day.

Each tragedy is severe. But in every generation, we may lose a small number of individuals whose absence is felt even more deeply as time goes forward. I can think of a handful of people during my own lifetime whose vision and commitment were unique and irreplaceable. Whatever their age.

As much as Alan deserved to realize the full potential of his gifts and his spirit, we as a community needed him with us. To those of us who continue in these causes, Alan’s sacrifice will be a growing void as we face new struggles and new opportunities that Alan would have seen through – even years from now. Years from now.

It will be our burden, our task, to fill this void with our own deeds, inspired by Alan’s example and by his memory. Alan did so much to improve and repair the world, and his work was far from complete. May our own efforts be worthy of his name and his friendship.

No comments:

Post a Comment