Dear families,

This year Ms. Kristin and Ms. Billie will be writing the weekly family communication. Their update will include news from around the school, the health report and other features. Once a month I will share a thought.

This week I have been thinking a lot about loyalty. I remember as a child once being asked by a fourth or fifth grade classmate if Israel and America went to war who would I want to win? I had been given the heads up to answer that America and Israel were best friends and will never be at war. If my memory serves, the conversation moved on to the much more existential question of if Superman and Batman fought who would be victorious. The accusation that Jews have a “dual loyalty” dates back thousands of years and is still a refrain heard from antisemites who claim that the Jews control the world and are plotting to take over all countries.

I have three responses to this claim:
1. If Jews do control the world, I am really upset no one has clued me in.
2. Not a bad accomplishment for a people who make up only .02% of the population.
3. If you have ever been at a synagogue board meeting you will know that Jews have a hard enough time running one organization, forget about the world!

In seriousness, to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Brandies, there is nothing wrong with multiple loyalties, people can feel allegiance to more than one concept at a time. Our school is a prime example, we can teach children about the love for both Israel and the United States, a respect for Judaism while respecting other faiths, and to see the high value of the different groups of people who make up our community and country. We are at our best as humans and CJDS learners when we look past national and local boundaries to work towards forming a world where respect, justice, and advocacy are shown to all people. I look forward to these overarching concepts being at the heart of our school year.

Rabbi Meir

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