When Tragedy Struck Denver’s Jewish Community
Sadly, tragedy struck Denver's Jewish community when five criminals went on a crime spree in August, 2021 and murdered a 19 year-old student from Cleveland who was studying at Denver's premier Jewish learning institution.
We often hear people send "praying for you" wishes, which are always welcome, but this essay dives into why we must not forget action to accompany our prayers. This approach is fundamental to Jewish teachings.
Don’t wait until something happens to you
This essay explores how we can change the way we care about others’ tragedies. Change the way we practice empathy when someone else cries out in pain. Let’s give some urgency to the challenges confronted by others and their families. We can take more seriously when someone says they are being treated unfairly.
In the aftermath of a horrific criminal murder at my son's Jewish school in Denver, Colorado, it's time we start figuring out empathy. We can't afford to wait until something happens to us to start caring about others.
In this deep and hard hitting poem, activist Jeffrey Kass gives us powerful pause to think about how society has treated its Black and Brown citizens. This is a must read. Breathe as you digest.
NOW TIME TO GET RADICAL ON RACE
People involved in fighting for racial justice are dancing in the street after the defeat of Donald Trump. Indeed, there was much to be concerned about under his presidency. The election is over now, and author Jeffrey Kass in this essay reminds us that racism didn’t start in the last four years and we can’t let our guard down just because Biden-Harris won. Kass gives real solutions to tackling are centuries old issues,
Sending In The Federal Troops: Solution or Accelerant For More Violence?
At one point, the U.S. contemplated sending in federal troops to stop violence in our most dangerous cities. South side of Chicago one of them. But what policymakers don’t understand is that our problems with crime will never be solved with more military style weapons and more police. It’s time to think long term. Mass investment in education, in training and other programs that uplift instead of jail people is our only path forward.
“Justice will not be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” -Ben Franklin
IP attorney Jeffrey Kass puts personal history into ‘traumedy’ writing
written by Tony Flesor for Last Week Colorado
Editor’s Note: This Law Week feature focuses on the creative writing of attorney Jeffrey Kass. Read Kass’ essay “Twenty-Four Inches” here.
Jeffrey Kass works at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith as an intellectual property attorney, spending his time between the Denver and St. Louis offices. As a writer, though, he can typically be found around Aviano Coffee in Cherry Creek where he devotes his mornings to putting his personal stories into creative stories and essays.
Now, he’s up front about his views but he keeps them con ned to his stories. His world view comes out in the situations he chooses to write about and how he chooses to write about them.
One story, for example, details his journey across the border from Israel to Jordan — if only for a day — while keeping that monologue running about religious and ethnic tensions between the countries.
His stories developed into his branded style after a failed engagement. He said he realized he was with an emotionally cold person who didn’t understand his “love language” — he began wondering why he would choose someone like that and wondered what that said about him. From there, he began confronting his own past in a new way. As he describes it, “we’re all just repeating our comfortability from childhood.”
In his stories, he regularly revisits the things that affected him, and he says they can get crass or offensive. But that doesn’t mean they cross any lines that might harm his image as a trustworthy attorney.
“These stories will offend, they will engage, they will make you think, but they’re not so offensive that you don’t want me as your lawyer,” he said.
In fact, he thinks his straight-for- ward demeanor helps him with clients. Close clients whom he’s worked with for a long time likely wouldn’t be surprised by anything that comes out in his writing. He said he believes clients want to know they’re working with a real person.
His creative writing might have bled into his legal writing once or twice as well. He said his writing has loosened up.
To read this story and other complete articles featured in the April 15, 2019 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.
READING THE ESSAYS
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