This past weekend, my family traveled to Austin, TX, for a family Bat Mitzvah celebration. My wife and I always enjoy visiting other places throughout the country, and when we travel, we try to explore the cities we visit. Not only does it provide us a chance to see other communities, but also, of late, it gives us a chance to visit with family we have throughout the country. And for me, seeing another Jewish community is always fascinating and fun.
During the weekend, my job and work came up in many of my conversations with my family. And inevitably, the subject of antisemitism came up as it has in this space the last several weeks.
This week, I am planning to attend South Pasadena’s City Council meeting as they have placed a resolution denouncing antisemitism and all forms of hatred, as well as adopting IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism. If they pass the resolution, South Pasadena will be the twelfth city to support our effort out of the 48 in our region.
Now back to my conversations with family this past weekend. In talking with a family friend, she told me about an organization she is involved with in Atlanta called Am Yisrael Chai. The organization was established almost ten years ago and is committed to increasing Holocaust education in the general Atlanta area. One of the many projects they do is called The Daffodil Project. They are trying to build a Living Holocaust Memorial by planting 1.5 million daffodils worldwide. They chose daffodils because the shape and color represent the stars Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. According to their website, they have already planted 861,000 daffodil bulbs. I was blown away by both the creativity and imagery of this effort, and it reminded me of the incredible work being done all across the country to not only educate people about the Holocaust and what can happen when hatred of any kind goes unchecked.
If you become aware of other efforts from family and friends, please share them with me so I can share them with our community. The more we share, the more opportunities we become aware of that we can possibly bring into our local Jewish community.
I hope you have a wonderful week, and if you are available, please join me at South Pasadena’s City Council meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). The meeting begins at 7.