As we look at the arc of history these past two weeks, we go from a low in the aftermath of the attack in Charleston, South Carolina to a high today following the marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court. While these may seem radically disparate events, they are connected by a strong theme of progress in our society towards embracing differences and diversity. Yet, along with that progress comes the need to respond to those reactionaries who feel threatened by these changes rather than being secure in their own place in society.
I am proud of the many in our Jewish community who have stood in solidarity with the families of the victims in South Carolina, most recently at vigils in Highland Park and Red Bank, and I encourage others to show their support. As was said in the Trinity AME Church in Long Branch this past Sunday, “It could have been us.” Sadly, the Jewish community knows that sentiment, and as we focus on security needs in our own community, we should share and partner with other communities who may also be at risk.
I am also proud of the many synagogues and temples that have made a concerted effort to reach out to LGBTQ couples in our area to make them feel welcome and a part of their communities – even before the Supreme Court has made this acceptance the law of the land. Keep an eye out for a listing of opportunities for LGBTQ individuals, couples and families as we approach the High Holy Days this year. (Check out last year’s link for a preview: www.jewishmonmouth.org/lgbt.)
May we all continue to celebrate our differences, build on our points of commonality, and share more occasions to celebrate.