I hope you’ve had a great week! On November 20th, the Jewish Alliance welcomes ABC News journalist and co-host of Nightline, Juju Chang, who will join the Alliance for our annual community campaign thank you event. Ms. Chang will speak about her personal journey to Judaism and will discuss the rise of antisemitism and the rise of anti-Asian hate in our country. Her visit reflects this current moment so well, and I hope you will join us for the event.
In my role I often feel like I live in two worlds. In one, I wake up each morning excited that I get to help build strong, vibrant Jewish communities in greater Rhode Island. That I get to work with others who do the same. Every day, we meet community members moving forward on their Jewish journey, whether cultural or religious, and it brings true joy to all of us who get to facilitate that.
The other world is a much darker one. It’s a world that begins each morning with an email digest of antisemitic incidents that took place across the country and world the previous day. It’s a world where I check in with our security director to make sure our community remains safe, that our local law enforcement and our community members remain vigilant. It’s a world where the number of antisemitic incidents in Rhode Island, like the rest of the country, is on the rise.
This week I had the privilege of attending Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly. It was a place where these two worlds came together, with sessions on both the rise in antisemitism and what to do about it, and how we continue to build flourishing, thriving Jewish communities. My biggest takeaway is that we overcome the darker world by emphasizing the lighter one. We must lean into the joy of our people, the joy of what we do, and we should share it with others. That doesn’t mean that we stop doing other things to fight antisemitism, but we should focus on what we love about Jewish peoplehood rather than what others fight against.
Which brings me back to our thank you event. It is designed to thank YOU for supporting our community. Juju’s message is so important for our time. It will marry both worlds, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate what’s beautiful about our people. More details on the event can be found here. Please join us!
Until next time, I wish you a safe, peaceful, and joyous Shabbat.
President & CEO