Shining A Light This Chanukah
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It is time to re-dedicate ourselves to working together. Chanukah is known as the “Festival of Lights” but the word Chanukah itself translates to dedication. So, this Chanukah, let’s rededicate ourselves to being a Jewish community for all who want to belong and connect. Let’s rededicate ourselves to building a safer, more secure, and informed Jewish community. Let’s rededicate ourselves to being there for each other within Cleveland and far beyond.
And, most importantly, let’s rededicate ourselves to standing together against hatred. We must work together to make it clear that antisemitism/Jew Hatred – whether overt or cloaked – has no place in our society and is not welcome without exception. Whether the attack is on social media, in a local Jewish neighborhood, or in Jerusalem is irrelevant. We cannot look away from or be selective about when to confront it.
We also must work harder with our partners in the general community to help them hear the “dog whistles” that have become all too commonplace in our politics and society. Combating hate requires all of us inside and outside the Jewish community working together.
At the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, we are beginning this rededicated effort together on November 29 (the second night of Chanukah) at a special menorah lighting ceremony for the Greater Cleveland community that will SHINE A LIGHT on antisemitism. Civic leaders such as Cleveland City Council President-Elect Blaine Griffin, Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman, and Reverend Sharon Core, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve will participate in the program. We hope you’ll be able to join us.
Working together, we must do better. We owe it to our past as much as we desire it for our future.
As we continue to re-emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we do so from a position of strength because of all the community members who say “here I am” when things get difficult through generous support of the annual Campaign for Jewish Needs and acts of kindness both big and small.
On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees and the Federation staff, we wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving and a Chanukah that’s filled with warmth and light. If you have already made your gift to the 2022 Campaign, thank you for making life better for so many who cannot thank you themselves. If you’ve not yet made a gift, please visit campaignforjewishneeds.org. Every dollar – every donor – makes a difference.
Happy Thanksgiving and Chag Chanukah Sameach,
J. David Heller
Erika B. Rudin-Luria