Be a Modern Maccabee
I am mourning the recent death of my cousin Fritzi, a Holocaust survivor, who died in her sleep a month shy of her 103rd birthday. Fritzi’s story of survival was an inspiration. She possessed incredible courage during the darkest years of the Holocaust. It saddens me that the generation of survivors is disappearing.
Anti-Semitism has not disappeared. This week Doug Emhoff, husband of the Vice President, hosted Jewish leaders at the White House for a meeting about the alarming rise of anti-Semitism in America. It is hard to digest that a former resident of the White House recently hosted a dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Kanye West, who calls himself a “Lover of Adolf Hitler.” We are again living in dark times.
I am proud of a modern Maccabee in our congregation, Isa Hesquijarosa, a 17-year-old. She will speak at Shabbat services next week, December 16th about her experience and training at the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington, D.C. The Religious Action Center (RAC) teaches teens how to advocate their elected representatives on capitol hill about issues of concern for Reform Judaism like the rise of Anti-Semitism.
Our Teen Center invites our Temple’s teens to join for a trip to the RAC January 27-30, 2023. If you know a teen in our congregation who cares about what is happening in our country and wants to make a difference, I urge you to encourage them to come with us on this important and valuable trip to Washington, D.C.
Here is my ask. Please come to services next week to hear Isa, an inspiring young leader from our congregation, speak about how we as Reform Jews can repair the world through advocacy.
When my cousin Fritzi lived through the Holocaust, many said they did not know what to do. Today, we need to be modern Maccabees who know how to stand up for ourselves, for our Jewish community, and our values. I invite you to come hear Isa and to speak with the Temple teens you know about joining our RAC trip to D.C. in January.
Rabbi David Wilfond