“Replace Darkness with Light”
When it comes to Jewish journeys, there’s no one road map. Jews do not neatly fit into a common identity. On the one hand, we are not clearly a marginalized group because we do not have structural barriers impeding our success and influence. On the other hand, we are not singularly powerful or even safe: Antisemitism continues to persist in the United States, and we suffer at its hands around the world.
Rabbi Steve Silberman noted that “a horrid attack upon all of us—in a Shul on Shabbos Pesach, a murderer entered. On the conclusion of our holiday celebrating freedom a wicked creature violated the sanctity of lives engaged in prayer and community. The last day of Pesach bears special meaning. The significance of the day is that it represents and teaches global justice and peace—it’s the ultimate hopeful Messianic message; a message which transcends religion and calls out to all humanity. This is how we Jews celebrate our specific holiday of freedom from slavery. Judaism cares for all! Let our message ring out to the entire world!” May the light of our mitzvot outweigh the darkness of this and other murderous attacks.
We, as a small Jewish Federation directed by the interests and needs of our community, must have serious discussions about how to best serve our Jewish community both at home and abroad. This is part of the story of our collective identity in the age of privilege. Because we experience and believe so much in our own story of success, we distance ourselves from the stories of Antisemitism and conflict that continue to plague our people here and elsewhere. But an essential dimension of Jewish people-hood is relating to fellow Jews who do not share our experience. Not because we feel vulnerable right now, but because they do.
This year’s campaign goal provides funding to continue our work and further expand programs to develop Jewish life and culture in Mobile and elsewhere. There is a wonderful vitality in Mobile that inspires us to commit ourselves to the 2019 Annual Campaign. We are dedicated to ensuring a vibrant Jewish future for generations to come. I feel so strongly about our future that I am willing to increase my personal pledge by 20%. I encourage you to consider replacing darkness with light by giving tzedakah to this year’s Annual Campaign and by increasing your gift. If you have not given previously, please consider making this your first gift of light.
By investing today, you ensure the longevity of a vibrant Jewish future.
Robert Bloom, Chair
Mobile Area Jewish Federation 2019 Annual Campaign