On a day dedicated to remembering Presidents, much of our consumer culture will be looking for sales. But not everyone. Today a small group of Riversiders, along with small groups from eight Jewish, Muslim and Christian congregations, will meet at Temple Micah in Washington in order to claim our American citizenship. We come together in order to begin changing the narrative of fear and hatred to one of mutual regard and hope. We are meeting to incarnate that American of all slogans, E Pluribus Unum–Out of Many, One.
Several months ago, Rabbi Zemel invited representatives from these several congregations to meet in dialogue. We have broken bread together, shared our despair over the direction of our country under a President who is particularly hostile to the stranger and the different, and we have shared our hopes as expressed through the prism of our unique religious perspectives and experiences. The leaders of these congregations agreed that we wanted to share our hope and excitement for reclaiming covenantal bonds of American citizenship with our congregants. Starting slowly, we each have invited a small number of our congregants to come together over a table of food and a common worship service.
Black and White, female and male, young and old, immigrant and native, gay and straight… Muslim, Christian, Jew… we are America. We not only recognize one another as fellow human beings but we dedicate and renew ourselves to protecting the dignity of each and of every one.