How can I begin anything new with all of yesterday in me? Leonard Cohen
As the Jewish communities are getting ready for the High Holy Days, more and more of us are (hopefully) asking ourselves the hard questions: Did I do everything I could do to attain my goals this year? Did my organization do everything it could to fight back against Jew-hatred? Did we, as a community, do everything we could to make the world a better place?
Without checking in with ourselves in an honest way, we will fail to see the opportunities the next year holds for us. This is why the message I want to share here starts with checking on yesterday before we turn to tomorrow. Not to dwell on it – but to learn from it.
I am sure that I am stating the obvious when I say that we did not have an easy year. It was a year impacted by a global pandemic, hatred, ideological and real wars fused with uncertainties and seemingly uncontrollable circumstances.
No, we did not have an easy ‘last’ year.
As a Jewish community in the United States, we’ve been experiencing the unthinkable — our brothers and sisters being violently attacked on the streets of Manhattan and Los Angeles and in many places in-between. Jews and Zionists are bullied, intimidated, and getting death threats.
As a Jewish community, we see how some of us are yearning for unity and mobilization, while others want to keep to the status quo — possibly out of fear.
As a Jewish community, we are facing complex questions around our identities. Do we stand up as proud Jews when an angry mob attacks a restaurant (as happened in Los Angeles)? Do we go to the streets and stand up against those who call for our death under the campaign of “Globalize the Intifada?” Do we act? Or do we stay silent?
The upcoming year is full of opportunities, but only if we set clear intentions. My intention for 5782 is to stand up against Jew-hatred as an even prouder Jew; not only for myself, but for my children and for my community near and far.
Cheryl Dorchinsky is the executive director of Americans United with Israel and a founder of Atlanta Israel Coalition.
- rosh hashanah
- Cheryl Dorchinsky
- Atlanta Israel Coalition
- americans united with israel
- Leonard Cohen
- High Holy Days
- global pandemic
- jewish community
- United States
- violently attacked
- Los Angeles
- Zionists bullied
- death threats