By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
At nightfall yesterday, three stars came out and our celebration of Passover drew to a close. This Pesach was unlike any in our lifetimes. Yet as we sheltered in place, physically cut off from family and friends, we made do. We got in front of our computers for virtual “Zeders,” greeted family and friends on screens, and retold the story of our escape from the narrow place and our ongoing quest for freedom. We persevered—as we have always done.
The resilience of our people is a recurring theme for the three commemorations that are coming up in the next two weeks—Yom Hashoah on April 20-21, followed by Yom Hazikaron April 27-28, and Yom Ha’atzmaut April 28-29. Solemn observances that remember the darkness of the Holocaust, teach its lessons to a new generation, and honor the soldiers who fell in defense of our Jewish homeland are followed by a day of festivity—of independence regained and of rekindled hope for a better, brighter future.
A lesson of the three commemorations is that time and again, we have overcome adversity and lifted each other up. The acts of remembrance that will bring us together over the next two weeks are reminders of the strength of the Jewish people and of our collective will to pull together for each other. They encourage us to rise from the present crisis that has engulfed our world.
That Jewish spirit of resilience, hope, and iron-willed determination will see us through. Even as we remain apart physically, our reaching out to others, leaning into community, keeping those connections strong, and giving Jewishly will keep the light of Jewish life shining brightly – until the day comes when we can open our doors, step out into the fresh air, and be together again.
Be well. Take care of each other.