It is so important for our Jewish community to Shine our Light Bold and Bright right now because of the political atmosphere. There is so much hatred in the world towards Judaism. We, as Jews, need to educate others about our religion and culture.
When my children were younger, we lived outside Charleston, S.C. There were not many choices for preschools in our suburban town. I remember, very clearly, wanting to bring Chanukah gelt to educate my older daughter’s preschool class. Instead of acceptance by the director, I still remember so clearly, I explained to the director what gelt was…chocolate candy covered with Hebrew letters. Her response was, in a very harsh way, “absolutely not.”
I should have pushed harder and explained, however, I was young, naive, and did not want to fight. This is one of the many reasons I persuaded my husband to move out of the Charleston area. It is ironic, though, that my son is now a freshman at the College of Charleston.
In our current culture, other religions besides Judaism are the majority. We, as Jews, need to educate other citizens that there are other religions besides Catholicism and others. It is very apparent, especially during the December holiday season.
Personally, I am extremely proud of my religion. I admire people in our community who can showcase their love for their religion, in an apparent way. When I lived in the Tristate area, I had no fear. However, living in the South, I am fearful. I need to get over my apprehension.
Diana Cole is the community engagement coordinator for Atlanta Jewish Times.