A Message from Adam Silver, CEO, Calgary Jewish Federation

Calgary Jewish Federation CEO Adam Silver

by Adam Silver 

(Calgary) – As we approach Pesach (Passover) this year, “Let my People go” takes on a whole new meaning for global Jewry. We recently marked six months since the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, and all these months later, there are still over 130 hostages being held captive in Gaza. There are over 1,000 families that are incomplete, that have had family members abducted, murdered, maimed, or all three. For those families, and for us, elements of the ancient Passover story don’t seem that ancient at all.

For those families, their Seders will be missing regular guests and loved ones. Many of us will be thinking of the last six months, of the hostages in captivity, and of the horrific atrocities perpetrated by Hamas. We will be thinking of the potential gifts and accomplishments taken from the world that day, and the lasting impact of those losses. Some people already leave an empty place setting and chair at their Seder tables for victims of terror, for incarcerated family members, or for other reasons. This year, I would like to encourage even more of us to leave an empty chair and place setting for the hostages, the murder victims, and the volunteers and soldiers who are away from their families to defend Israel and its people.

The Passover story is one that spans many years, taking the Jewish people from slavery to freedom, from oppression to Eretz Israel. It is also a story of challenge, perseverance, and resilience. The Israelites, in their darkest moments, question the strength, faith, and dedication it will take to fight back against the Egyptians, and to depart on an unknown, uncertain journey through the desert to the Promised Land. Over the last six months, we have certainly seen darkness and depravity. We have experienced a world that is upside down in its morals and truths. But we have also seen amazing strength and resilience in our own Jewish community – initially filled with fear, anger, and bewilderment, we see community members attending programs in large numbers, proudly wearing their symbolic jewellery like a chai or Magen David, and standing up against antisemitism wherever they encounter it. We have also seen allies, though not as numerous as we would hope, standing by our sides with unwavering support.

These have not been easy times. In fact, they have been devastating and demoralizing. Yet, through leaning on one another and on our community, we continue to weather the storm. Israel is not defeated, and the people of Israel are resolute. This year, at our Seders, we will proudly and loudly proclaim “L’shanah Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim” – Next year in Jerusalem! – knowing that this year’s recitation means more to us than ever before.

Wishing for brighter and more peaceful days ahead, and sending best wishes from my family to yours for a Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach.

Adam Silver is CEO, Calgary Jewish Federation 

Be the first to comment on "A Message from Adam Silver, CEO, Calgary Jewish Federation"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.