It is difficult to watch the news these days. In today’s political climate, it seems every campaign advertisement is focused on tearing us apart and telling us what is wrong with the opposing party or candidate. Even social media platforms are increasingly contentious and toxic. By the time you read this, I’ll be in Israel participating in the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly (GA). It is no wonder that the focus of this year’s GA is the growing split between Israeli and North American Jews. With all of these examples of division, I have to remind myself that there are just as many examples of people coming together, and that the Alliance’s focus as an organization is to do just that: Bring people together.
We do this by creating a more inclusive organization, starting with our Dwares JCC. We’ve partnered with the national Jewish organization Keshet, to make sure our facility is LGBTQ+ friendly and welcoming. In two weeks, when Daylight Saving Time ends, we will go back to our extended Saturday evening hours, so those who are Shabbat-observant have an opportunity to come together at the JCC after Shabbat. And as we continue to broaden our program offerings, we reached out to The Parkinson’s Place, a local gym for people living with Parkinson’s disease. After learning about the work they do, the people they serve, and the recent dispute with their landlord, we opened our doors to ensure those who rely on their specialized workouts could continue to receive them
Everything about the Alliance focuses on coming together. It is right in our name. Even our Annual Campaign is about coming together to create a stronger, more vibrant Jewish community in Rhode Island. Together, we’ve already raised more than $600,000 to support critical community needs. And this year’s Annual Campaign Event highlights the power of people coming together. I hope you will join us to hear Mohammed Al Samawi’s incredible story, and the key role that members of the global Jewish community played in turning the story from harrowing to inspirational. You can learn more about Al Samawi’s story here. The event takes place on Sunday, October 28 at 7:00pm at the Dwares JCC. There is no charge to attend, although we ask for a gift of any amount to support the Annual Campaign. I hope you will join us!
I hope these small examples of positivity remind you that although things seem dark at times, there will always be light that shines through.
Wishing you a peaceful Shabbat.
President & CEO