We grew up the son of a fireman in New York City and a daughter of an exterminator/piano tuner in Norfolk. Esther’s Dad played heart-tugging Kol Nidre on the violin at Ohef Sholom Temple while my Dad studied and became the highest-ranking Jewish officer in the NYFD. Our children-of-immigrant parents shared the same dreams and goals of their ancestors; that their children would have a better life than they.
Our ancestor’s seeking of wisdom, education, tolerance and the elevation of those who need the most uplifting are aspirations fading from our national conscience. Our protected childhoods as Jewish kids, in Jewish neighborhoods, playing with our Jewish friends did not prepare us for what is becoming a hostile and intolerant world where our value system is in the minority.
It is the Jewish Foundation here in Tidewater and elsewhere that spans the gap between our parents, grandparents and our children and their children. We are the last source of fuel for the eternal light that has allowed us to provide a magnitude of positive influence on the world that has no equal. It is up to us to ensure that this eternal light never falters. If not us, who? If not now, when?