Chag Sameach: Celebrating Our Heritage This Purim

Reading the Megillah (Book of Esther) reminds us of the leadership, wisdom and bravery of our ancestors. The messages in the Purim story offer as much meaning for us today as they did for generations past.

Sadly, as the near daily bomb threats to Jewish Community Centres across North America and other antisemitic acts across the globe remind us, dangers to the Jewish people abound by those who would do us harm. Fortunately, the Jewish people have a steadfast legacy of overcoming such challenges with resolute courage. Historically, we have taught our children, grandchildren and others young members in our community to respond not with fear or anxiety but with unwavering strength and determination.

As a national community, we also have the support of a federal government committed to protecting its citizens.

'In Canada, we stand together because we know that diversity is our strength. It built this country. Jews in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and across the country should know they have the full support of the Government of Canada as we guard against a resurgence of anti-Semitism. We're with you, and will do everything we can to keep you safe.'

- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

As a Jewish community connected by common history and customs, we can teach the younger generations to face challenges collectively by celebrating our holidays and practicing our rituals proudly.

Traditionally, in Jewish history, women have been powerful agents of social change. In recognition of International Women's day on March 8th, we should also acknowledge the lessons taught by Esther herself, as a vibrant and intelligent woman who relied on her faith to protect her and save the Jewish people. This continues to be the case as women across the globe positively influence the Jewish community everyday through their inherent strength and dedication to our common heritage and values.

Purim is a bright and noisy holiday for adults and children alike. Let's all celebrate it loudly and joyously as is our tradition.

Chag sameach.

Linda Kislowicz, President& CEO and Julia Berger Reitman,Chair


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