Our Children, Our Actions and The Election

This is an extraordinary morning.

After long and difficult months of a campaign, where we witnessed the most divisive and hurtful messages, we woke up to a President elect. The emotions are running strong – whether devastated, elated, afraid or satisfied, I imagine each one of us are experiencing feelings that are moving us deeply.

So here is the question I have received from many of you….what do we tell our children? How do we look them in the eye? My personal story allows me to answer this question with little baggage. I came to this extraordinary country as an 18-year-old. As an immigrant from a Latin American country, I was embraced and received every opportunity to grow personally and professionally. At times, I also felt like the “other” and heard comments that were both hurtful and based in ignorance.

So…what do we tell our children?

We tell them that we live in a great democracy and that it is our responsibility to agree, disagree and take action. We tell them that we are honored to live in a country that has overcome adversity many times. We tell them that our extraordinary nation is one of opportunity, freedom and responsibility. And we show them … we show them to see the “other” without prejudice and fear, we show them to act when we see something that is immoral or goes against our values, we show them that we are responsible for one another. We don’t allow life to go back to “normal” by acting complacent and return to our daily routines.

How? We volunteer at homeless shelters, we engage in letter-writing campaigns, we exercise our democratic responsibility to vote and protest, we invite “others” to our homes and get to know them. We become civically responsible and take action – in whatever political way you lean in. Only by being role models are we going to be able to look at our children in the eye.

Our country needs healing and only people can facilitate change. What I am committed to is to live as a role model for my sons and students. One of the reasons we chose (you as parents, me professionally) Carmel Academy, and a value that I am committed to perpetuate, is the mandate to stand up, volunteer and be counted. We will take a close look at our chesed program … we will continue to teach our students civic, human and Jewish responsibility. We will have days of chesed that include letter writing and supporting issues we value – without politicking.

We will continue to develop critical thinking skills so our students are prepared to make decisions that are based in facts and not emotions.

Our faculty and staff is committed to ensure that Carmel Academy students will graduate with a sense of responsibility to the world…not with a sense of despair for the world.

Together we can achieve this.

With deep prayers for peace and healing.