December 19, 2023

I did something last night that I have not done for quite a while…. I went with my daughter to see a movie (on a school night) that began at 8:45 p.m. While I knew that I would probably be a bit tired this morning, spending this time with my daughter, who is home on break from college, was something I could not pass up.

I love going to the movies, especially this time of the year when so many great movies are released between Thanksgiving and New Year's. For me, sitting in the theater allows me a chance to disconnect from the world and get immersed for about two hours in the story playing out on the screen in front of me. With everything going on right now – the increased incidents of antisemitism and Jew-hatred we are seeing in media reports, as well as the arguments and protests popping up all over the place over calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and blaming Israel entirely for the humanitarian crisis having a couple of hours away from it all has been nice.

I know that this is classic escapism, and I know that not everyone can do it. But for me, this self-care is desperately needed. You see, in my work, I am surrounded by all of it each and every day.

Please do not get me wrong. I know that this is part of my job, and I have genuinely enjoyed being here for the community, especially when people feel they can reach out to me. I know how difficult it can be when you don't know who you can turn to. I have treasured my interactions and conversations with people since October 7. I am honored that community members know that I and our Jewish Federation are here for them if they have any questions or want to know what is happening.

Even with all I see and hear, I still feel overwhelmed and helpless because I don't always know what I can do to help the situation. And I remain torn by the images and stories I read each day. I am heartbroken that so many innocent lives have been shattered because of the actions of others. I am sickened by the amount of people unwilling to listen to one another and the spread of misinformation. But most of all, I hate how it feels like our personal identities are under attack, and we are being forced to defend them. Add this to the rise of swatting incidents that we are seeing flare up around the country, which have caused our Jewish institutions to double down on their security efforts.

We are in unchartered waters, and it will be necessary for us to continue to be there for one another as we work together to deal with and face the next phase of life. This is what being part of a community is all about.


Add Comment