I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.
During the year I spent studying in Jerusalem as a rabbinic student, it was impossible to escape the upcoming High Holy Days.
Last year, my pre-school-aged daughter was acutely aware that her friends and their families would be celebrating Christmas and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it.