{4F805597-AC32-42F4-9EE2-BAD88CE3B8B2} From the Desk of Misha Galperin
Search Advanced
Home About Us Making History Connecting to Israel Doing Jewish Donate Now Contact Us 
You are here :   About Us Updates and Publications Newsletters Jewish Agency Connection Articles From the Desk of Misha Galperin
Leadership
Board of Governors
Updates and Publications
Donor Circle
Featured Stories
Newsletters
Misha's Musings
Jewish Agency Connection
e-blast
Jewish Agency Links
Marketing Portfolio / Donor Opportunities
Annual Report
Logo Download
Press Room
Speakers Bureau
Videos
History
Our Partners
From the Desk of Misha Galperin

December 2011 / Kislev 5772

Dear Friends,

This Hanukkah, I look back and am amazed at how much things have changed since I was a child and how much they have stayed the same. Today you find Hanukkah decorations everywhere. People are openly ethnic about their holiday choices. Our holiday has happily made it into the mainstream culture.

Who would have thought that you could buy a menorah at Target or that Tiffany’s – on the other side of the economic scale - wishes its customers a Happy Hanukkah in the New York Times? As a child in Russia, Hanukkah was certainly not mainstream, but even for children in the United States, Hanukkah was the poor stepchild of Christmas. That’s no longer the case. We’re proud. We’re free. We’re celebrating.

And even though Hanukkah has “grown-up” it still retains its most important meaning, acknowledging the fight for a strong Jewish identity. Today we are not fighting the enemy without but the enemy within. If we are to celebrate Hanukkah properly then we are to understand its message.

We are still a small candle that has to bring large amounts of light into the world. I think that the State of Israel does just that. The forces of Hellenism are still as seductive as ever, and Jewish identity can still be weak and without luster. It can be about a latke and vodka night and not about Jewish literacy, knowing our history and understanding and practicing our rituals.

Hanukkah presents us with an ironic challenge that is still ripe thousands of years after the first Hanukkah was marked. Will our Judaism make it in the mainstream culture against forces that try to abolish its significance? Will Hanukkah teach us to be a real light to others or will we minimize our particularism for a diluted sense of belonging? We want to be part of the larger culture without being lost in the larger culture. We did it then. We can do it now.

A joyful Hanukkah to you all,

Misha


Send to A Friend
  
Back to Top
Wednesday 23 April, 2014 (c) All rights reserved to the Jewish Agency יום רביעי כ"ג ניסן תשע"ד