This weekend, we celebrate Purim and remember the story of Queen Esther who stood up for, and ultimately saved, her people in the face of an oblivious monarch, King Achashverosh, and his cruel advisor, Haman.
This symbolism is particularly poignant as Jewish communities around the country are receiving bomb threats and seeing an up-tick in hate speech and anti-Semitic vandalism. And with International Women’s Day observed this week, we simultaneously celebrate the great accomplishments of women from the board room to the basketball court, just as we acknowledge that there is MUCH more to be done to achieve true equality.
So much of our work at camp is instilling a sense of pride (one of our core values) in who we are and courage in leading the change we are capable of to make our communities, our country and our world a better place for everyone.
Just as we shake the “grogger”, or noise-maker, to drown out the name of Haman, so too must raise our voices against prejudice, racism, bigotry and xenophobia. On the flip-side, sometimes standing up for what you believe can be met with noise and negativity. Just as we must not stand idly by, we cannot be deterred from pursuing justice for all people, even when we encounter adversity.
As we commemorate Esther’s bravery in standing up for the Jews of Shushan, we must rededicate ourselves to the core values that guide us, starting with pride (ga’avah) and leadership (manhigut).
Wishing you and your family a Chag Purim Sameach!