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The JC Leader: More unity, less difference

The Jewish Chronicle Leader column, September 22, 2017

    As the new year approaches, many of us will be making resolutions and preparing for the 12 months ahead. But Rosh Hashanah does not just herald the start of a new year and a push towards the future; it is also meant to be a time for looking back and reflecting on the year that is coming to an end.

    Within the Jewish community, this has, as usual seen much hard work (both heralded and unheralded) as well as a plethora of impressive charity events, interfaith initiatives and remarkable examination results from Jewish schools. We have said goodbye to many notable Jews in the UK and further afield, from singer Leonard Cohen to scientist Vera Rubin.

    But it has also been a year in which the Jewish community has been riven by argument, notably over the words of Rabbi Joseph Dweck, the position of women in minyanim, who to vote for in the General Election, even over figures regarding antisemitism.

    Although we are relatively small in number, it may be too much to issue a plea for total unity. People will always disagree with one another, and that is no bad thing.

    But in a world that seems to contain more than enough dangers — with the march on Charlottesville, attacks on Jews in France and constant social media threats, this may be a good time to see what we have in common, rather than emphasise our differences.

    We wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.

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