Given the events of this past week in Paris, it bears repeating that there are fanatics out there, and the way to deal with this challenge is not through a pareve, relativistic approach – but an approach that recognizes the potential power and limits of identity/ies in a liberal society.
That is why this article from thought leader, Mosaic, entitled Liberal Europe and its Jewish Problem -- Strong ideological currents are turning Europe into a difficult place for Jewish survival (originally published Sept. 28, 2014) -- was one of the most important reads of 2014. It is just as relevant now, seeing the horror of, but perhaps not fully understanding, what is playing out in Europe today.
Needless to say, this also should inform our own education and “peoplehood” approaches in the US, as isolation doesn’t work here either. (Remember reactions to The Interview?) Which is also why the work of Jewish Federation in support of Israel, engaging the next generation of Jews, and educating the broader community about our particular perspective (and fears) is so important.
If you are not already engaged with the Jewish community, connect today: put yourself on Federation's email list to stay informed, come to an event, volunteer your time, or contribute to the annual Jewish Community Campaign, which supports education and advocacy about Jewish concerns locally and worldwide. We are stronger together than any of us is alone.
*Photo courtesy of Newsweek