I have always believed that here in the United States, anti-Semitism couldn’t possibly be as entrenched as in other parts of the world. In 35 years of life, I had never directly encountered anti-Semitism – until last week.
This is the beginning not only of changing perceptions of Jews in Indonesia, but also of simultaneously working toward a greater acceptance of Islam in America. This task – of advocating for those who are discriminated against on the basis of religious identity, in the hopes that we may live and learn together – is no more important and timely than today.
I was born in 1961, baptized, confirmed and given First Communion. But when I was 9, my father began telling me bedtime stories about his narrow escape from the Nazis in Vienna, his entire family murdered – how my maternal grandmother was assassinated in my mother’s childhood home in Bremen, Germany, on Kristallnacht and how, by a miracle, my mother survived.
Moses said to the Eternal, "See, You say to me, 'Lead this people forward,' but You have not made known to me whom You will send with me. Further, You have said, 'I have singled you out by name, and you have, indeed, gained My favor.'"- Exodus 33:12