Judaism, practice and belief, is replete with paradox and tension. One curious example is the Torah's instruction to "remember to stamp out the name of Amalek," the biblical antagonist of the Jewish people. How can we at once "remember" and "stamp out" memory?
This is the tension we encounter as we endeavor to move on from tragedy and adversity while acknowledging that our historical challenges are part of our identity. We are constantly reminded of our long history with persecution, exclusion, and annihilation. Our calendar, liturgy, text, and tradition, are populated with allusions to these events. Though these reminders remain with us, we can also appreciate that despite the sheer number and proportion of these horrific events, we have managed to not only survive, but also thrive beyond any reasonable prediction.
At FJA, we want our students to embrace, in healthy and meaningful ways, the tension between persecution of the past and the lives they lead today as Jews. Our mission at FJA, to "inspire students to dedicate themselves to Jewish tradition, peoplehood, and the state of Israel," requires that they be familiar with the ugly history and current climate of antisemitism. On Wednesday, November 20, our community will have the opportunity to hear the unique and informed perspective of Mr. Abe Foxman, former National Director of the ADL (Anti Defamation League). Please take advantage of this unique opportunity and attend with your student. They will then be equipped to take the next step, through resilience, advocacy, and leadership, to secure theirs and our community's future.