I know that anti-Semitism is a timely topic, and it’s tragic to see a dramatic rise in anti-Semitism and what our college students are experiencing. We hear stories about covering mezuzot and hiding signs that we are Jewish. That is not how I want to live my life. Hanukkah is a relatively minor festival in Jewish holy day observances. It became more important in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as immigrants to America wanted to offer their children a joy-filled holiday, perhaps even as compensation for Christmas. A big part of Hanukkah is sharing your faith, and that is why so many put candles or electric Hanukkiahs in their windows.

This Hannukah, I wanted to buy a giant Hanukkiah for my yard to show my Jewish pride. Ultimately, the Hanukkiah was too expensive, and I will work on it as a family project to build one for next year. I have two simple thoughts for our Jewish community: let’s not accept and stamp out any sign of anti-Semitism, no matter how small, and secondly, let’s not hide our Jewishness. Our world is better because of the contribution of the Jewish people and Israel. No apologies; it’s time to be loud and proud.

Happy Hanukkah to the CYJ community!