In writing about this season’s new hit television show, “This Is Us”, Boston Globe critic Matthew Gilbert writes that the program’s fictional family members are desperately looking for some healing, and as such, “are interconnected, whether they like it or not. Our country, alas, is in the same place, divided and yet stuck with one another. For many of the show’s fans, ‘This Is Us’ is us.”
In the real world in which we live, our local and worldwide Jewish communities are similarly “interconnected,” whether we like it or not. So it is now time for us to immediately begin to heal the rifts that have permeated throughout our entire community, let alone country.
Last week, senseless, barbaric induced fires decimated a huge swath of land and property in the north and center of Israel. The innocent victims of such terrorism deserve our support and compassion. Yet we ourselves have been victimized by rampant emotional and political wildfires that have been choking off constructive dialogue and advocacy across our community and our country. How sad then that so many local Thanksgiving tables provided forums for debilitating, interfamilial battlefields, instead of bountiful venues of sharing, caring and beneficence.
Indeed, now it is time for friends, family and community members to respect the diverse opinions of others, and act in as unified manner as possible. In so doing, we must constructively and inclusively unleash/harness our energies to collectively battle the recent waves of virulent anti-Semitism and anti-humanitarianism activities, protect and advocate for the rights and welfare of our vulnerable, and ensure a future for our children/grandchildren where our historic Jewish values of limud, tzedakah, tikkun olam, and Torah, are not only upheld, but never, ever compromised.
The Alliance’s renovated Dwares JCC shall serve as our community venue to talk openly and respectfully about the state of affairs of our country, Israel, and our own vulnerabilities and concerns. I have already begun to do so internally with my staff. It is amazing what benefits are provided by healthy, judgment-free conversations. If we are successful in uniting for the greater good of one another, we will begin to extinguish the rampant conflagrations that are currently compromising the fabric of our beloved greater RI Jewish community.
Jeffrey K. Savit
President & CEO