Over the past few years, we have seen an increasingly divisive society, including in the Jewish community. Despite these discordant tones, we know there is a dominant principle that brings us together as Jewish Americans, E Pluribus Unum.
As we consider the Jewish aspect of this American motto, I am reminded of the biblical teaching of “B’zelem Elohim,” the very foundation of human equality, which I hope will permeate throughout the upcoming year of 5780.
In 5780, I plan to focus even more on inclusiveness and mutual respect within our Jewish community. It’s imperative we bring our Jewish community together. I look forward to creating opportunities for non-affiliated, reform, conservative, reconstructionist and orthodox members to learn about each other and the beautiful diversity among us.
A recent poll showed that 20 percent of Jews in American today are Jews of Color. Let us use this time to ensure that diversity is not just about political or religious thought, but of our backgrounds and experiences as well.
“Two Jews, three opinions” is among the elements that makes being Jewish so great. We, as Jews, have always believed we need to encourage vibrant discussion on the most important issues of the day. The Talmud is filled with these types of stories, anecdotes and learnings.
I invite those who believe in these principles to join me throughout the year, for a program, a meal, a conversation, and to share what you know is the strength of our society today.
We must unite across our differences, celebrate our diversity, contribute to a shared society and resolve to advance the welfare of all.
As we think about forgiveness, let it focus on how we have allowed divisiveness to spread through our community and what we can do to counter it moving forward.