By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
When night falls on Thursday evening, the first night of Chanukah, we will light the first candle on our menorahs. The Festival of Lights is the holiday that tells the story of our resilience as a people and commemorates the rededication of the Temple.
Chanukah, while being a story from a past age, is remarkably timely today. When I think back over the whirlwind challenges and the upending of our lives that we have all experienced recently, in a sense, we have been re-enacting the Chanukah story throughout this year. The miracle of the oil is a symbol of our resolve to meet the challenges head-on.
When the pandemic struck 10 months ago, we pulled together as a community to care for the vulnerable and invent new ways to keep ourselves connected to Jewish life. That was a candle that brought more light to the world.
When a renewed cry for racial justice demanded our nation’s attention, community leaders and members alike invoked our Jewish values to stand in solidarity with marginalized people and to raise our collective voice for racial equity. That was a candle that brought more light to the world.
At a time when the need for greater cohesiveness in our community and in the larger society is increasingly urgent, our newly established Jewish Community Relations Council is emerging as a powerful tool for civility and bringing renewed strength to securing a safe, healthy, and vibrant future. By coming together for common purposes, we are spreading our light.
Building and strengthening community takes dedication—to nurturing relationships, to working together across differences, to amplifying our capacity to make impact through collaboration. So many of you in our community have taken tangible actions that have brought more light to our world. Speaking up for Jewish values and priorities to our elected representatives. Stepping up to leadership roles. Giving children a head start on amazing Jewish journeys. Helping people in need locally, in Israel, and in Jewish communities around the world.
Everything that you have done for community, large or small, has brought more light to our world. Everything we do together for community is a rededication to Jewish continuity, during this time of long nights and for the brighter future that lies ahead for us all.
Thank you, for all that you do to brighten our world. Stay safe, be well, and Chag Chanukah Sameach.