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It is hard for many of us to remember what life was like before October 7th.The Jewish world changed forever on that day, and we remain consumed by the war in Gaza and the plight of the hostages. We also worry and weep for the innocent people on both sides caught in the crossfire.

As serious an obstacle Hamas and their heinous attack present to the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people, we must not forget two of the battles we must fight. While the dissonance that existed within the Jewish world on October 6th may seem like a distant memory given the degree to which we have coalesced to meet the more immediate threats to our existence, we must also continue to find ways to mend our internal discord so that we can sustain the long-term strength and unity we are demonstrating right now.

And to those who think we cannot prevail in that struggle because friction and conflict are an intrinsic part of Jewish life, I urge you to remember the story of David and Goliath. Like the character of Goliath, disunity and disconnection in the Jewish world is a massive problem. Like Goliath, it hovers over us in a menacing way. And, like Goliath, it seems invincible, so most are afraid of fighting it.

But, also like Goliath, it can be confronted, and it can be defeated. Not in one step, but in the same way David prevailed: it must be sapped first of its energy and strength, and then dealt a final blow.

For the past several months, a group of 70 volunteer Global Jewry leaders have been working together to help achieve that goal. Each person has been assigned to one of four planning teams, and each team has been exploring a different question we had to ask ourselves before moving onto the implementation phase of our initiative. The issues we felt we needed to address were how to build a truly global and diverse Jewish community, how to foster greater collaboration among Jewish organizations, how to create a safe space for difficult conversations and how to use technology to achieve our goals.

We could not be more appreciative of the contributions every team has made to our thinking during the planning phase, and we are deeply indebted to our team leaders for their time and talent. Their work represents the sling and the stone we need to stop the growth of the infighting and dissidence in the Jewish world and create the pause we need to move forward with our plans.

The next step in our work is actually using those tools to stun our Goliath.With the help of our more than 350 advisory board members and more than 110 organizational partners – as well as many others who are joining us every day– we will spread our message of Jewish unity, connection, and collaboration at a time when those values are more important than ever. The Hamas atrocities and the rise in global antisemitism have heightened the understanding, especially among younger generations, of the need to respond to the kind of existential challenges many of us thought we would never experience again.

But, as we have learned, never again is now.

Once our Goliath has been felled, Global Jewry will take the steps necessary to do our part to make sure he never threatens us again.

We will pursue our mission to amplify and expand the reach of all the great people, projects, and programs currently focused on strengthening all that which connects the Jewish people while also promoting new ways to achieve the same goal. We will strive to serve as a distribution channel for the best programs, stories, ideas, and information that Jews across the world have to offer each other. We will help the Jewish people continue contributing to humanity in ways disproportionately greater than our numbers would seemingly allow.

With the help and involvement of all who share our passion and commitment to securing a vibrant future for the Jewish people, we will build a global Jewish community – both virtual and in-person – of unprecedented unity, connection, and strength. We will be part of a rising tide lifting all boats.

That is our vision, and it all begins by confronting the Goliath standing right in front of us. And, if we join hands and work together as one, we will prevail – just as King David did all those years ago.

Shabbat Shalom and may the remaining hostages be freed very soon,

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