I have received many positive comments from people regarding our JCRC Chair Becky Ruby Swansburg’s wonderful op-ed in the September 10 edition of The Courier-Journal, written with Dr. Muhammad Babar, former president of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent in Kentucky and Indiana.
The piece was about the cooperation between the Jewish and Muslim communities here in Louisville on so many issues, even though tensions between us might have been high this summer over the war in Israel. While the majority of the comments received were quite thankful, many people were surprised by the extent of our relationship, and many people were surprised by the very existence of our cordial and cooperative connection.
Our JCRC prides itself on its diligent work in reaching out to different groups in Louisville, and our entire community should be proud of the relationships we have forged.
While a strong relationship with segments of the Muslim community might come as a shock to some people, it shouldn’t. We share so many values and hopes for our community that an alliance of friendship and cooperation is natural.
The same goes for the many other faith groups with which we have forged relationships with groups even though we might not agree with on every single issue. We have positive relationships with such varied groups as the Catholic community, the Hindu community, the Baha’i community, and the Evangelical Christian community – all with which we might have respectful differences.
Here in Louisville, that which unites our different groups is much stronger than that which separates us, and we should all be thankful that we live in a community where this trend is quite common.
We will continue to forge and strengthen the relationships that contribute to a strong Jewish community and a robust and compassionate Louisville.
This past summer was obviously a trying time for our family and friends in Israel, as they suffered through many days of bombing from terrorists in Gaza. The situation was particularly trying in the south of Israel around the Gaza periphery, as Israelis there were forced to spend an inordinate amount of time in bunkers and shelters which had a devastating effect on the people living there.
This is the reason the Jewish Federations of North America initiated the Stop the Sirens Campaign, calling on Federations across the country to raise money for various forms of support for southern Israel.
Our campaign here in Louisville is something that we should all be proud of, we raised over $41,000 for this much-needed care. JFNA has allocated the funds to where the money is needed most, providing trauma support, psychological counseling, respite and direct services with the lion’s share of the funds. JFNA is now talking with our partner agencies in Israel to determine how additional funds should be allocated.
Thank you to all of who made a contribution and/or otherwise supported our community efforts to support Israelis affected by Operation Protective Edge.
Register to Vote Now!!
As our election season heats up, it is important that we stay tuned to all of our resources for news, so that we can make informed decisions about the issues that affect us locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally.
To help the community get to know the candidates, the JCRC will host a Candidates Forum on October 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the JCC, featuring Third District U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and his opponent, Dr. Michael McFarlane. Candidates running for various judicial positions are also invited to participate.
Our representatives in Washington and on the bench play a particularly important role in our everyday lives and it is important that we have all the facts before we “pull the lever.”
If you have not registered to vote yet, NOW is the time to do it, as the deadline is October 6 if you wish to vote in this year’s election in November. You can register at your local county clerks’ office, or online at www.elect.ky.gov.
On behalf of the Jewish Community Relations Council, I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year.