Giving Tuesday

by Susan Liberstein – RSNS President

Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving designated as a day of giving back, a time to show generosity. Many of us have charities that we support and have also given in these weeks to support Israel. The massacre on October 7 was the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust. On the anniversary of Kristallnacht this year, adults in our community who had the opportunity to participate for the first time in the Adopt A Survivor Program, gave testimony to the stories of the survivors that they adopted during a Friday night service. I was struck by the resilience of the survivors and the bonds that had formed between our congregants and these survivors. Our post B’nei Mitzvah young adults have been participating in this program for many years. Rabbi Jodie and Dinah Kramer have been instrumental in our community being able to adopt Holocaust survivors and commit to being their voices so that their stories are never forgotten.

During this time it has not been uncommon to hear that people are afraid to show signs of their Jewish identity in public places. People have questioned whether to wear a Star of David necklace or keep a Mezuzah on their door. I would say that this is not the time to be afraid to express your Jewish identity, values, and connections. We have to hold fast to our values and celebrate the history of our people’s resilience to survive even in the darkest of times. In continuing to embrace our Jewish identities, our synagogue home at RSNS is the epicenter from which we are supported by our clergy to process our feelings and fears, continue to grow, and not be afraid to celebrate who we are.

I wrote to you before Thanksgiving about the decision of the Board of Trustees to increase security at RSNS with the presence of a security guard at all times when the building is open whether it be for school, services, educational programs, or meetings. We are taking this step proactively with the rise in anti-semitism since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war. In considering where to make donations this year for Giving Tuesday, please help to support our Jewish home. With Chanukah around the corner, I am grateful for the light and strength that our clergy give to help us navigate through these difficult times. May we all continue to bring light and healing into the world.

Susan Liberstein