Colors: Cyan Color

Donald Trump’s long-awaited “Deal of the Century” was finally revealed last week and has received mixed reception everywhere in the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu was ecstatic, but quickly backtracked from his initial promises of applying sovereignty after confusing signals emanated from the White House. The British government has shown support, the French government has announced that it was going to study it, and the German government has said that the plan raises questions it wishes to discuss with its European partners. The representative of the European Union for foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, accused the plan of undermining the “1967 borders” and hinted that it was not in accordance with international law. The Gulf countries, for the most part, welcomed a plan that will take the Palestinian burden off their shoulders. Finally, the Israelis back at home are as divided as always – and rightfully so, because the plan is, at its core, a lot of déjà vu.

A life-changing event has the potential to inspire individuals to rethink how they live. For nonobservant Jews, a birth, bar/bas mitzvah, wedding, or death is often a rare moment when Jewish custom is brought into the picture. In my extended family, there are no Orthodox Jews. The men who attended cheder and leined their bar mitzvah parshah in the prewar years are gone.

Everyone already knows that the 2020 elections are coming up. The House, the Senate, and the Oval Office are up for grabs, but American Jews don’t have to wait until November to make their voices heard. The World Zionist Congress will be meeting later in 2020, and 152 delegates will represent American Jewry. How those delegates decide to spend nearly $1 billion for Jewish causes depends on how American Jews vote between now and March 11.

A synagogue defaced, a storefront window broken, a Jewish mother harassed on the street, Jewish blood spilled on the ground. A dark cloud has rolled in and is hovering above the heads of all Jews. There is fear and worry and uncertainty. It can be felt in every shul, school, home, and market. It is palpable and it is warranted.